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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 21 July, 2019
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Connacht make third short-term signing with capture of Munster's Fitzgerald

The fullback joins his younger brother, Conor, at the western province.

CONNACHT HAVE FURTHER strengthened their backline resources for the second half of the season with the short-term signing of Stephen Fitzgerald from Munster.

Fitzgerald, the older brother of Connacht academy out-half Conor, joins the western province on a three-month loan deal, and becomes the third player to move to the Sportsground in the last week.

Stephen Fitzgerald Fitzgerald joins his younger brother at Connacht. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Andy Friend’s midfield options were boosted with the arrival of Tom Daly from Leinster while Connacht also secured the signing of Angus Lloyd — who has had spells with Ulster and Munster — as scrum-half injury cover before Christmas.

23-year-old Fitzgerald has made seven senior appearances for Munster but hasn’t featured for Johann van Graan’s side this term, and his move to Galway will provide him with an opportunity to gain senior game time.

The former Ireland U20 international is primarily a fullback but can also play on the wing and will be a useful option for Friend, with Craig Ronaldson, Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Peter Robb and Colm De Buitlear all currently sidelined.

Fitzgerald, who previously represented the Limerick hurlers at minor level, signed a one-year contract extension with Munster last February, but having been beset by injuries has yet to make the breakthrough at Thomond Park.

Fitzgerald, like Daly and Lloyd, could come into contention for Connacht’s Guinness Pro14 inter-pro against Ulster at the Sportsground on Friday night [KO 7.35pm, TG4, eir Sport]. 

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Ryan Bailey

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