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Two talented backs from Galway get two-year deals at Connacht

The western province continue to underline the importance of homegrown talent.

CONNACHT HAVE PUT more money down on their commitment to indigenous talent today with the re-signing of centre Eoin Griffin and by extending of Tiernan O’Halloran’s contract.

Clifden man O’Halloran has captained his home province twice this season and his performances in Connacht’s superb start to the campaign have earned the 24-year-old a two-year extension.

25-year-old Griffin left Connacht in 2014, taking up the offer of a two-year contract with London Irish. The centre has 71 provincial caps to his name and has managed 20 appearances since moving to the Exiles, despite an unfortunate run of injuries.

A dejected Eamonn Sheridan and Eoin Griffin Eoin Griffin shares a word with Eamonn Sheridan (left) after London Irish's Challenge Cup quarter-final exit last season. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Connacht’s statement today also notes that their prodigal son is ‘recovering well’ after tearing a bicep tendon last month.

“I’m delighted to be coming home to Connacht Rugby. I’ve had a great time here with London Irish and I am committed to recovering from this injury so I can finish out the season well with them,” says Griffin.

The opportunity to move home to Connacht was something I couldn’t say no to. I’m a Connacht man born and bred, it’s where my family and friends are and so it will always be home to me.”

Head coach Pat Lam hailed the leadership that comes from the two relatively young backs while noting the importance of having a strong core of homegrown talent.

“As well as playing in the Champions Cup and having more players representing Ireland,” says the Samoan, “our other key objective is to have strong Connacht indigenous representation in our squad.

Tiernan O'Halloran Tiernan O'Halloran in Connacht training earlier this month. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“So I am very pleased that both local men Eoin (Griffin) and Tiernan (O’Halloran) have committed to their home province.  At still only 25 and 24 respectively, they would already be seen as experienced leaders.

Tiernan has a massive influence on and off the field and I believe his work ethic and attitude will see him making an even bigger impact playing at Connacht going forward.”

“It’s great that Eoin is returning to his home team and his mates. From his experiences of playing abroad for two seasons, he will bring different attributes to the side on and off the park.

“I’m confident both Eoin and Tiernan will push hard to ensure that their home club Connacht Rugby is successful on and off the field.”

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