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Ex-Leinster lock Thornbury joins Connacht after spell in New Zealand

The 23-year-old will move to the Sportsground on a two-year deal.

CONNACHT HAVE ANNOUNCED the signing of former Leinster second row Gavin Thornbury on a two-year contract.

Gavin Thornbury Thornbury is a product of the Leinster academy. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The 23-year-old has spent the last six months playing rugby in New Zealand with club side Border, and his performances for the North Island side earned him a place in the Wanganui provincial team.

Thornbury’s superb form helped Wanganui win the Meads Cup last October and his progress in New Zealand has not gone unnoticed with Connacht securing his services for next season onwards.

The former Blackrock College and UCD lock spent three years in the Leinster academy but after earning a professional contract with the eastern province in 2015, his first season was plagued by injury.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to play with Connacht Rugby,” he said.

“The exciting brand of rugby is hugely attractive and I very much hope to build on my experience to date – particularly from New Zealand. I look forward to making a positive contribution to the club’s continued success over the next few years.”

Commenting on the capture of Thornbury, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said: ”We’re delighted to have Gavin joining us next season. He is a young Irish lock who has huge potential and has shown his desire to succeed at this level by taking a chance with his move to New Zealand where he did very well.”

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