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Connacht have announced the signing of versatile South African back Shayne Bolton.

The Irish qualified 20-year-old impressed with the University of Free State in the Varsity Cup and was training with the Cheetahs earlier this year.

Bolton can play either in midfield or across the back-three and says the chance to move to Galway was "an opportunity I had to take".

"Andy Friend spoke about how they pride themselves in developing players and I immediately felt that Connacht was the right place to take my game to the next level.

"I can’t wait to reconnect with my Irish roots and get ready for the season ahead.”

Connacht head-coach Andy Friend says Bolton's versatility is a real plus.

“After we learned of Shayne’s availability and his Irish ancestry, we kept an eye on his progression and did some further work to confirm his playing ability.

"It quickly became apparent that he was the type of player that could add real value to our squad.

"He has been turning heads in South Africa with his recent performances and, while he’s still only 20-years of age, he has all the attributes to become a top class professional player.

Players with versatility are a key component we look for in our Squad mix, and Shayne fits that category perfectly.

"He started off at fullback and on the wing before moving to centre in the last year or two, so we’re looking forward to his arrival and seeing how best to integrate him into the squad.”

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