Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, has warned that the IRFU can no longer be the 'lender of last resort' for the professional game as the governing body does not have the capacity to absorb ever increasing player wage inflation.
The Irish Rugby Football Union provided an unbudgeted additional 1 million euro in the 2015/16 season to the provinces (250,000 euro each) to assist with the difficulties experienced by all in the player contracting market.
Elverys Intersport, one of Ireland's leading sports retailers with 58 stores nationwide, are the new title sponsors and official retail partners of Connacht Rugby. The new three-year deal will re-establish Elverys' relationship with Connacht Rugby dating back to 2005.
With pre-season now underway, seven new recruits have so far been added to the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy for the 2016/17 season. Ireland Under-20 players Shane Daly, Vincent O'Brien and Sean O'Connor are included in the new intake.
Connacht Rugby have confirmed that Conor McPhillips will take over as backs coach for the senior team from the start of the 2016/17 season. Andre Bell, who had previously held the role as backs & kicking coach for the last two seasons, has returned home to New Zealand to be with his family.
JP Cooney, Shane O'Leary and Daniel Qualter have all signed on to continue with the Connacht senior squad for 2016/17, while back rower Rory Moloney has been promoted from the province's Academy to join the senior ranks.