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Christmas bonus for Connacht and Ireland as New Zealand-born McCartney commits until 2020

McCartney will be eligible to play for Ireland next October.

Connacht hooker Tom McCartney.
Connacht hooker Tom McCartney.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN boosted today by the news that Tom McCartney has opted to extend his stay with the province for a further three seasons.

The 31-year-old former Auckland Blues hooker, who signed a three-year contract with Connacht in 2014, has signed a new three-year deal which will keep him in the west of Ireland until 2020.

“I’m delighted to sign on for another three years with Connacht Rugby,” said New Zealand-born McCartney.

“I came here excited to be able to help the province achieve its vision of success and I believe we have the structures in place to see us continue to go from strength to strength.”

In addition to being a key play for Connacht, McCartney — who can also play as a loosehead prop — will be eligible to play for Ireland from October 2017.

“This is a hugely positive move for Connacht Rugby and a big statement from Tom highlighting the belief and confidence he has in the future of the club,” said Connacht CEO Willie Ruane.

“Tom came to Connacht from overseas and in a short time he has made a very positive impact on our environment here. He is an important member of the squad and very popular among our supporters. We are thrilled that he sees his future with Connacht.”

McCartney picked up the man-of-the-match award earlier this month after making his 50th Connacht appearance in their Guinness Pro12 win against Benetton Treviso.

Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: “I’m delighted for Connacht Rugby and our supporters that Tom has re-signed. It is a massive statement for the future of the squad and the province.

“I’ve known Tom for so much of his career and he is a valuable leader on and off the pitch. Along with all the other recent re-signings, he will be an important contributor to the future success of the province.”

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Paul Dollery

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