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Rugby

Kilgallen among six Connacht players to sign professional deals

Diarmuid Kilgallen - who has played on five occasions already for the first team - is among the contingent. 



Kilgallen among six Connacht p...
Rugby

Kilgallen among six Connacht players to sign professional deals

Connacht have agreed professional contracts with six academy players. 

Diarmuid Kilgallen - who has played on five occasions already for the first team - is among the contingent.

The other players to agree deals are Ciaran Booth, Cathal Forde, Shane Jennings, Oisin McCormack and Darragh Murray.

Forde, Jennings, McCormack and Murray have all represented Ireland at U-20s level.

Booth - primarily a flanker - joined Connacht in the summer of 2020 from Sale Sharks and is Irish qualified.

The contracts begin at the start of next season.

Welcoming the players to the first team, head coach Andy Friend described it as a 'special day'.

“This is a special day both for Connacht Rugby and for Cathal, Shane, Oisin, Darragh, Ciaran and Diarmuid," the Australian said.

"They have each forged their own paths to professional rugby through hard-work and dedication, and with the help of their coaches, parents and volunteers along the way.

"It’s particularly pleasing that 4 of the 6 players came through the Connacht pathway, playing their club and school rugby here in the West of Ireland.

"I’m looking forward to further integrating them into the Pro setup and help us challenge for honours in the years ahead”

Eric Elwood - who is Connacht's Academy manager - paid tribute to the players and their coaches.

“I’d like to congratulate the six men on their impending move to the Pro team, and to their respective clubs and schools that have played a big part in their success.

"Everyone at Connacht Rugby has worked tremendously hard at all levels to give them the platform to succeed and I’d like to acknowledge the work done by the coaches as well as the wider Academy staff.

"That said, it’s up to the players themselves to take the opportunities afforded to them and they’ve done just that. I know they each have what is required to take that next step in their careers.”

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Andy Friend Connacht Eric Elwood Rugby

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