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Three Local Players Pen Pro Deals With Connacht Rugby

The province made the announcement this morning.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend says the signing of six academy players on professional deals is a 'special day' for the province. 

Athlone's Darrragh Murray will join brother Niall in the professional ranks. Another lock he was part of the Ireland U-20 squad in 2021, captained the Connacht U18s to inter-pro success and is a product of both Buccaneers and Colaiste Chaiarain. 

Fellow Buccaneers RFC products and Ballinasloe duo Shane Jennings and Oisin McCormack are also among the six. Both have come through Garbally college and are capped at various levels for Ireland, with Jennings currently a part of the Sevens World Tour rotation. 

Ciaran Booth, Cathal Forde and Diarmuid Kilgallen - who has already played on five occasions for the first team - have also signed. 

The contracts will begin at the start of next season. 

Connacht Rugby Academy Manager Eric Elwood has paid tribute to the six players:

“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.”

Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend has congratulated the six players on their contracts:

“This is a special day both for Connacht Rugby and for Cathal, Shane, Oisin, Darragh, Ciaran and Diarmuid. 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”

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