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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020

More good news for Connacht as Irish-capped duo pen new deals

Niyi Adeolokun and Dave Heffernan become the latest players to commit their future to the western province.

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend continues to shape his squad for the coming seasons by securing the future of two more senior players.

Ireland internationals Niyi Adeolokun and Dave Heffernan are the latest players to commit their future to Connacht, with the pair both signing two-year contract extensions at the Sportsground.

Niyi Adeolokun Adeolokun has scored 31 tries for Connacht. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Ultan Dillane and Jack Carty have both put pen-to-paper on new deals in recent weeks, while the western province have also signed prop Paddy McAllister from Gloucester for the 2019/20 season.

Today’s announcement also follows the news Friend’s backroom team — attack coach Nigel Carolan, forwards coach Jimmy Duffy and defence coach Peter Wilkins — have all extended their terms for another two seasons.

Adeolokun has made 82 appearances for Connacht since moving to Galway from Trinity College in 2014, but has not played since early December because of injury.

The 28-year-old winger, capped by Ireland against Canada during the 2016 Autumn series, has scored 31 tries for Connacht. 

Heffernan, meanwhile, extends his stay with his native province having come up through the ranks at Ballina and then the Connacht academy system. The hooker has made 110 appearances in green, while also making his Ireland debut against USA back in June 2013.

“Dave is another example of the excellent work that is being done at grassroots level in the province,” Friend said.

“His emergence through the club game in Ballina, to play for his province and his country is exactly what our vision, Grassroots to Green Shirts represents.”

Commenting on Adeolokun’s contract, the Australian added: “Our ambition is to continue to play an exciting, attacking brand of rugby. To deliver this we need highly skilful and versatile players like Niyi. He is a player that is still improving and giving us increased options all the time.”

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Ryan Bailey

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