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Connacht line up Crosbie on short-term deal to ease out-half concerns

The 23-year-old came through the Leinster academy and has had a spell with Munster in recent times.

CONNACHT ARE CLOSE to signing Steve Crosbie on a short-term contract in order to ease their issues with injuries at out-half.

Steve Crosbie Crosbie has been with Munster in recent months. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The 23-year-old has been with Munster recently, having joined the southern province on a three-month development contract in October. Crosbie did not make a senior appearance for Munster in that time, but did feature for their ‘A’ side.

The St. Gerard’s alumnus originally came through the Leinster academy system and made two senior appearances for his native province, although he did not secure a full contract thereafter.

Old Belvedere clubman Crosbie moved to New Zealand last year to play Heartland Championship rugby for Wanganui alongside his former Leinster team-mate Gavin Thornbury.

Munster came calling in late in September, however, after out-half Johnny Holland was forced to retire due to a hamstring injury.

Now former Ireland U20 international Crosbie is set to join Connacht, with out-halves Jack Carty and Marnitz Boshoff currently missing due to injury.

Shane O’Leary is due to return from concussion soon, while Craig Ronaldson – who usually features in the centre but has experience at 10 – is only back this week after recovering from a thigh injury.

Steve Crosbie Crosbie plays his club rugby with Old Belvedere. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht head coach Pat Lam had made a move to bring his son, Mitch, onboard to provide the westerners with another option at out-half in the short-term, but the IRFU rejected the move, even with Lam stating that Connacht would not have to pay.

The IRFU have been keen for Connacht to look to Irish-qualified options in the midst of their current injury crisis, which has seen more than 20 players on the injury list in recent times.

Former Leinster academy centre Tom Farrell has made a move to Connacht from English Championship side Bedford to help cover injuries to Bundee Aki, Eoin Griffin and Stacey Ili in midfield.

Tighthead prop John Andress also came onboard at Connacht last month, only a short time after announcing his retirement from professional rugby after an injury-riddled spell with Munster.

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Murray Kinsella

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