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Dan Sheridan/INPHO Niyi Adeolokun scores a try against Leinster during the 2016 Pro12 final.
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Adeolokun, Leader and McKeon among 12 departures confirmed by Connacht
The trio represented the province over 320 times between them, with Adeolokun earning an Irish cap in 2016.

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL NIYI Adeolokun, his back-three partner Darragh Leader, and Connacht centurion Eoin McKeon are among 12 players who will depart the western province next month at the end of their respective contracts.

Zimbabwean-born Australian centre Kyle Godwin, his fellow Aussie midfielder David Horwitz, and English lock Joe Maksymiw will also seek pastures anew after their two-year contracts weren’t renewed.

Front-rowers Rory Burke and Peter McCabe will each conclude their stints in Galway next month, while Angus Lloyd will leave to pursue a medical career having passed his exams while under contract.

Already confirmed were the departures of Colby Fainga’a and Robin Copeland who will join French sides Lyon and Soyaux Angouleme respectively.

Tom McCartney has confirmed his retirement from rugby — first announced last month — and has returned to New Zealand after six years with Connacht. The hooker has amassed 112 appearances for the province and started in the 2016 Guinness Pro12 final.

Outside backs Adeolokun and Leader were also key figures during that same 2015/16 season, with the former earning his only Ireland cap the following November. They earned 94 and 91 caps for Connacht respectively.

Back row McKeon played 137 times since his debut for his native province in April 2010, and was also a member of the 2016 Pro12 winning side.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend said: “The nature of professional rugby means there will always be comings and goings. I would personally like to wish all our departing players every success in the future and thank them for their contributions to Connacht Rugby, both on and off the field.

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“We all share in the players’ disappointment that they were unable to get a proper send-off at the Sportsground due to Covid, but they can be always assured of a warm welcome by the club and our supporters at any time in the future.”

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