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More 'exciting signings' to follow promising Aussie to Connacht

“We hope he will make a similar impact as Bundee [Aki] did,” Nigel Carolan said of Kyle Godwin.

Kyle Godwin, who made his Wallabies debut against France in November 2016.
Kyle Godwin, who made his Wallabies debut against France in November 2016.
Image: Getty Images

CONNACHT BACKS COACH Nigel Carolan says Kyle Godwin is the first of a number of big signings for the Sportsground side.

Connacht are at home to Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro14 this weekend and they have been boosted by the capture of the 25-year-old Brumbies centre.

Godwin, who can play from out-half through to full-back, was capped by Australia against France in November 2016. Carolan believes he can provide the ideal cover for Ireland international Bundee Aki, once he arrives at the end of the current Super Rugby campaign.

“We hope he will make a similar impact as Bundee did. He is a different type of player. He has played right across the backline and has a wider skill-set. They will complement each other very well,” said Carolan.

“He is on the team sheet with Brumbies every week. He is a quality player. He is excited to be coming here as well. He is excited about how we are trying to play the game, where we are going, the quality of players we have. And he is hoping to add to that.

“We have some exciting signings to be announced in the next couple weeks as well. It is really exciting for us in Connacht to be able to attract a player of Kyle’s calibre.

“We anticipate that the IRFU will manage Bundee a little bit more carefully now and protect his minutes. So we need to make sure that we have got adequate cover left behind in his absence.”

Nigel Carolan Connacht backs coach Nigel Carolan. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Connacht second row Andrew Browne has returned to training, along with tighthead prop Conor Carey. But winger Cian Kelleher might not play again in 2017-18 after he picked up an ankle injury in Connacht’s 26-25 defeat to Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

Connacht will also have to do without Ireland internationals Aki, Kieran Marmion and Ultan Dillane this weekend. But lock Quinn Roux has made his available for the game. Carolan said that the return of Aki after his Grand Slam heroics will be a big boost as they look for a strong finish to the season.

“When you look at the player ratings after the game. Bundee is not one of the guys who looks for the gloss. He makes other players look good,” added Carolan.

“He had his line-break the last day but he made CJ Stander look good because of the way he finished off that pass. The work he is doing off the ball, it’s a lot of unseen work. It goes unappreciated and I don’t think he gets the plaudits he deserves.”

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Daragh Small

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