12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Buccaneers fly-half David Connellan is to play his rugby in France in the new season, after signing a full-time contract with third division side CS VilleFranche.
The Coosan youngster, who is equally adept at scrum-half, scored 143 league points in his breakthrough season at Buccs in 2003/04, and kicked some vital placed balls last season in helping the Pirates move clear of the relegation/promotion play-off.
A former Ireland Schools captain, Connellan is to take in a season or two as a professional in Lyon before his probable return.
Meanwhile, Buccaneers have confirmed the signings of Tom Cregan, David Quinlan and Brian Buckley from AIB League Division One champions Shannon.
They will have a familiar face as coach out west, with ex-Shannon supremo Geoff Moylan now installed at Dubarry Park for the new season.
Buccs, who finished fourth from bottom in the 2004/05 league standings, are also due to rubber stamp the signing of former Ireland Under-21 captain David Gannon, who is on a development contract with Connacht for the new campaign.