Connacht stalwart John Muldoon has been confirmed as the province's captain for the 2014/15 season.
John Muldoon has played 222 times for Connacht and returns to a position that he first held from 2009 to 2011.
The 31 year-old from Portumna, Co. Galway joined the Connacht set-up in 2001 and made his senior debut for the province in 2004.
The multi-talented back rower recently signed a new two-year contract that will see him play with Connacht until at least the summer of 2016.
Commenting on the captaincy role, Muldoon said: "I'm delighted to be named captain this year. It's a huge honour to captain my home province.
"It's been three years since I was last captain and a lot has changed since then so I'm thrilled to have been asked again. I'm excited about leading a great squad in what is a new and challenging season for us."
Connacht head coach Pat Lam added: "John Muldoon is the ultimate Connacht man and the natural choice for captain. His performances last year were of a consistently high standard week in, week out which is what you want from your captain.
"John embodies every single one of our values and is someone who demands huge respect on and off the field.
"For the new and younger players coming in, he leads by example and is the ideal person to guide the team in the new season."
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen says that Robbie Henshaw and Sean O'Brien are 'making good progress' and that Jonathan Sexton is 'a couple of weeks away' from making a return to action for the province.
Munster will enter the competitive season off the back of a comprehensive 52-21 triumph over Worcester Warriors, with James Cronin, Simon Zebo, Darren Sweetnam, Ronan O'Mahony, Ian Keatley and Cian Bohane all touching down and the province's scrum yielding a penalty try.
New All Black recruit Charles Piutau lit up Kingspan Stadium tonight as he scored a try and made two more in a 29-19 victory over top Aviva Premiership outfit Northampton Saints in Ulster's final pre-season friendly.
In an in-depth interview IRFU Performance Director speaks about Ireland's Rugby World Cup review and the key learnings, the structure of the professional game, player contracts and movement and the challenges and opportunities for Irish Rugby.
After releasing details of the Leinster Academy panel for 2015/16, Academy manager and former Ireland international Girvan Dempsey spoke of his excitement about the new emerging talent and the players who are graduating to the professional ranks.
Speaking to Rob Murphy after Connacht's PRO12 victory over the Dragons, head coach Pat Lam said: "There are some things to learn from, but we're pleased to start with a win. When you consider nine in that starting group are under 23, it's good to see some of those talented guys get a chance - particularly the new ones."
Irish Rugby TV ventured west to cover the launch of Mazda's continued support of Connacht Rugby. We hear from new arrival and Mazda Ambassador Mils Muliaina, Kieran Marmion, Jake Heenan and former captain Gavin Duffy.
Looking forward to the new GUINNESS PRO12 season, Connacht captain John Muldoon said: "We've a lot of younger guys who have big years ahead of them and a few big name signings who will hopefully be able to fit into the system and work hard among the ethos of Connacht Rugby."
Irish Rugby TV was at the launch of the GUINNESS PRO12 and we caught up with Jamie Heaslip, Pat Lam, John Muldoon, Matt O'Connor and Rory Sheridan of Diageo as the new sponsor gets ready to kick off an exciting season.
Speaking during Connacht's training trip to Ballinrobe RFC, captain John Muldoon said: "It's great to see the jerseys and the people coming out to support us today. Long may it continue because we're not a Galway team, we're a Connacht team and that's what we want to push and that's why we come out on these days out."
Young hooker David Heffernan, who extended his current deal with Connacht in April, enjoyed a trip back to his native Mayo as Pat Lam's men held an open training session at Ballinrobe RFC earlier this week.