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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 17 September, 2019
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Connacht sign Australian underage international fly-half from the Waratahs

He follows in the footsteps of a two-cap Ireland international who arrived from OZ 20 years ago.

CONNACHT HAVE CONFIRMED the signing of fly-half Andrew Deegan from Super Rugby’s Waratahs.

The promising 22-year-old has been capped by Australia at Schools and U20 level, and arrives as a replacement for former Springbok Marnitz Boshoff who has departed the Sportsground following the death of his father.

Deegan was last year drafted into the Waratahs development squad in pre-season. He played for Australia Schools in 2013, and was the Aussie out-half at the U20 World Rugby Championship in Italy in 2015 – the tournament in which Joey Carbery announced his arrival for Ireland. He also helped the New South Wales U20s to back-to-back Championships in 2013 and 2014.

The stylish 10 attended famed rugby nursery St Joseph’s College in Hunter’s Hill, which has produced 47 full internationals in its history, including current Wallabies Kurtley Beale and Tom Robertson.

Three of those internationals have gone on to represent other countries: Michael Lipman, Steve Devine and Pat Duignan. The latter earned two caps for Ireland during qualification for the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and played for Connacht at the turn of the millennium. His father was a Roscommon Minor footballer.

Duignan went on to become General Manager of Randwick Rugby Club in 2005, and it’s for this club his fellow St Joseph’s alumnus Deegan excelled last season, scoring 194 points in 18 games, including five tries.

He also helped the NSW Country Eagles to the 2016 NRC finals and was the top points’ scorer in the Shute Shield.

Deegan said of his move north:

I am really excited to get the opportunity to join Connacht and have only heard great things about the club, the community, and how supportive the fans are. I am delighted to become a part of that and I hope I can add to the success Connacht have enjoyed in recent times.

He will battle with Jack Carty and Steve Crosbie for the 10 shirt at the Sportsground.

‘With the way the Irish set up, only a few guys get to play here. I’m honoured to be one of those’

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