The decision by captain Andrew Farley to extend his contract with Connacht means that Michael Bradley's squad for the 2008/09 season is taking shape.
Andrew Farley's signature sees 27 players signed for the province for next season with contract negotiations ongoing with a number of players.
Ulster scrum half Kieran Campbell, Shannon hooker Sean Cronin and Irish-qualified Kiwi out-half Troy Nathan will be three new faces in the Connacht squad.
A total of 13 players (Gavin Duffy, David Gannon, John Hearty, Liam Bibo, Mel Deane, Tim Donnelly, Keith Matthews, Michael McCarthy, Johnny O'Connor, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, Danny Riordan and Brett Wilkinson) will start the second of two-year contracts next season.
Six more players (Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Robbie Morris, Conor O'Loughlin, Michael Swift and Aidan Wynne) will start two-year contracts next season.
Farley will be joined on one-year deals by Colm Rigney, Andrew Browne, John Lyne and Brian McGovern.
"Negotiations are ongoing with a number of players at the moment. It is good to have a settled squad that is developing all the time," said Connacht CEO Gerry Kelly.
CONNACHT Squad:Backs - Gavin Duffy, Mel Deane, Tim Donnelly, Kieran Campbell, John Hearty, Troy Nathan, Danny Riordan, Keith Matthews, Liam Bibo, Conor O'Loughlin, Aidan Wynne.
Forwards - David Gannon, Johnny O'Connor, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, Brett Wilkinson, Colm Rigney, Andrew Browne, Sean Cronin, John Lyne, Michael McCarthy, Brett McGovern, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Robbie Morris, Michael Swift.
The Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 squads had a busy Easter period with seven matches played in Ashbourne, Cardiff, Llanelli, Caerphilly and Bordeaux. Check out some of the tries scored. Full match reports are available on www.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking to RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was asked about prioritising players playing in Ireland when it comes to national selection over those who are based overseas.
In an interview broadcast on RTE Radio 1's 'Sunday Sport' programme, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the summer tour to the USA and Japan, and also looked ahead to next month's Rugby World Cup Pool Draw.
Speaking about working with the provinces and monitoring players' progress, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt told RTE Radio 1: "For us, having the best quality of performance within the provinces, getting some really good coaching from the provincial coaches, which we know is happening at the moment, that's the foundation that we need because in the end we get the players in a match week pretty much."
In an interview with RTE Radio rugby correspondent Michael Corcoran, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt confirmed that Girvan Dempsey, Felix Jones and Ronan O'Gara will be incorporated into the coaching group for the upcoming summer tour to the USA and Japan.
IRFU National Talent Development Manager Hendrik Kruger says the Easter age-grade internationals give the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 players 'the chance to represent their country and experience international rugby' and are 'the highlight of their season'.
The Ireland Under-18 Clubs & Schools team (sponsored by PwC) played the England U-18 Counties side in the first of two matches at Ashbourne RFC this week. Check out the highlights from Wednesday's entertaining clash.
Four of our stadiums through the eyes of four Irish sporting legends. O'Driscoll on Aviva Stadium, Brogan on Croke Park, Matthews on Kingspan Stadium and O'Connell on Thomond Park. The world is invited #Ireland2023.
Irish Rugby TV caught up with flanker Sean O'Brien to get his reaction following Ireland's hard-earned 13-9 victory over RBS 6 Nations champions England. He singled out man-of-the-match Peter O'Mahony for special praise.
Peter O'Mahony reflects on what went wrong for Ireland in Cardiff and tells Irish Rugby TV that he is focusing on the squad and their work this week ahead of the final Six Nations game against England.
The Ireland squad paid a visit to Monaghan last week and held an open training session in Monaghan RFC. We spoke to Andrew Trimble after the session which was attended by over 2,000 cheering supporters.