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Connacht reward second row Thornbury with new two-year contract

The 24-year-old is in his second season with the western province.

CONNACHT HAVE MOVED to secure the long-term future of second row Gavin Thonbury, after the 24-year-old signed a new two-year deal with the western province.

Thornbury, who is currently out nursing a shoulder injury, made 15 appearances for Connacht during his debut season at the Sportsground after returning home from a spell in New Zealand.

Gavin Thornbury Thornbury is currently out nursing a shoulder injury. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The former Blackrock College and UCD lock spent three seasons in the Leinster academy before impressing in New Zealand with Border and then Wanganui in the Meads Cup.

In his first season in Galway, Thornbury was limited to just five starting appearances but consistently made a big impact in the engine room, with his power and athleticism coming to the fore. 

Under new head coach Andy Friend, Thornbury started the Pro14 games against Zebre and Edinburgh at the start of this season, before suffering damage to his AC joint three minutes into the defeat of Scarlets last month.

“I’m absolutely delighted to extend my contract with Connacht,” he said. “I am part of an excellent squad that is full of ambition about where we can go and what we can achieve. I am really enjoying my time at Connacht and I look forward to many more games in the Connacht jersey.” 

Friend added: “Gavin is a top quality player who has really impressed me and everyone at the club.

“He is a big powerful player who is continuing to get better and better the more he plays. He has a really bright future and has the potential to play consistently at the highest level. He will be a vital player for us in the seasons ahead.”

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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