Connacht Rugby is delighted to announce the recruitment of two new players to the Connacht Academy.

Manager Nigel Carolan has bolstered his Academy to 20 players with the signing of Caolin Blade and Eoghan Masterson.

Scrumhalf Caolin Blade was involved with Ireland Under-19s this summer and has also represented his country at U18’s level. The 19-year-old from Monivea, who attended Presentation College Athenry, comes from a family of scrum halves. His father Pat wore the number nine jersey for Monivea RFC and his brother Darren currently plays scrum half with the junior club in Galway.

Eoghan Masterson joins the Academy as a backrow forward. Hailing from Portlaoise, where he attended CBS, the 20-year-old represented Ireland U20s in the 2013 6 Nations game v Scotland. While his mother is from Westport, it is his Scottish father that enabled Masterson to also represent Scotland U20s in last summer’s Junior World Championship.

Commenting on the latest recruits, Academy Manager Nigel Carolan said:

“I’m delighted to officially integrate the two lads into our Academy programme.   Both players have earned this promotion through their hard work and effort.

“Eoghan and Caolin have played for the Eagles already and they really impressed me with their performances and attitude.

“They have a really good knowledge of the game and are both fantastic leaders on the field in their own right. I believe they have huge potential in the professional game.”

Connacht Academy 2013/14: 


  • Jack Carty                         Outhalf
  • Conor Finn                       Centre
  • Shane Layden                  Back Three
  • Tadhg Leader                  Centre


  • Finlay Bealham                Loose-Head Prop
  • Ultan Dillane                    Lock
  • Darragh Leader              Back Three
  • Steve Macauley                Back Three
  • Peter Reilly                      Tight-Head Prop
  • Marcus Walsh                  Scrumhalf


  • Caolin Blade                     Scrumhalf
  • James Connolly                Back Row
  • Conor Kindegran             Lock
  • Eoghan Masterson          Back Row
  • Saba Meunargia              Tight-Head Prop
  • Rory Moloney                 Back Row
  • Sean O’Brien                    Back Row/Lock
  • David Panter                    Back Three
  • Rory Parata                     Centre
  • Jacob Walsh                     Loose-Head Prop



Carty makes history as Connacht tame Lions