Talented Dublin University winger Niyi Adeolokun has signed a one-year contract with Connacht Rugby and the IRFU for next season.
The latest deal completes the 41-man senior Connacht squad for the 2014/15 season. Niyi Adeolokun, a 23-year-old from Dublin, has played club rugby for Dublin University FC since 2009.
He played GAA, soccer and rugby at De La Salle secondary school in Churchtown, but honed his rugby skills under Trinity College's director of rugby Tony Smeeth.
Adeolokun was also a very influential member of the Dublin University Sevens team that won back-to-back All Ireland Sevens Championships in 2011 and 2012.
Having recently completed his final exams at Trinity College, he will report to the Sportsground later this week for fitness testing with the rest of the Connacht squad.
Speaking from Galway, Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: "We're delighted to be able to give Niyi this opportunity. He was initially brought to our attention by Nigel Carolan last April when he started on the wing for the (Connacht) Eagles.
"He is clearly a brilliant broken-field runner with very good pace but we were also very impressed with what he offers in defence. With his raw talent and athleticism, we're looking forward to seeing how he performs in a professional set-up for the first time.
"When meeting with Niyi, I was struck by his maturity and also his unwavering determination to succeed after having overcome many challenges along the way. He is a good young man with excellent values and I know he will fit in very well to our team environment."
Tony Smeeth added: "I'm absolutely delighted for Niyi. He is a hard worker with a special talent and he deserves this opportunity.
"His rate of development was hugely impressive these past few years with Trinity but I know Connacht is the perfect place for him to step up that development even further. Training with professionals full-time and being around players like Mils Muliaina will be huge for him."
Ulster and Ireland prop Declan Fitzpatrick is to retire from rugby on medical grounds. The 31-year-old played 98 times for Ulster and made seven Test appearances for Ireland, three of which were against the All Blacks. He also represented the Ireland Wolfhounds on nine occasions.
The GUINNESS PRO12 final at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday, May 30 is nearing a sell-out with just over 400 terrace tickets left for public sale and very strong ticket interest among the five teams still in contention for the play-offs. Each of the finalists will receive 2,000 tickets and these are expected to be snapped up quickly.
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.
Rob Murphy caught up with Connacht head coach Pat Lam after their bonus point win at home to Benetton Treviso. The westerners have been in resurgent form of late, picking up three straight league victories and 14 points from a possible 15.