Connacht’s Michael Swift will earn his 200th cap for the province when he lines out this weekend against Edinburgh, becoming the first player in Connacht’s history to reach this milestone.
Born in London in 1977, Michael Swift played for Richmond as a flanker before spending a season at Leeds Tykes.
‘Swifty’ joined Connacht in 2000 and earned his first cap for the province against Ulster that year whilst also playing for Galwegians in the All-Ireland League.
The following year was the first of the Celtic League and over the past 11 seasons, and three league name changes, Swift has made 130 appearances in the competition – he is just five behind the league’s all-time record caps holder Deiniol Jones of the Cardiff Blues.
He earned his 100th cap for Connacht against Montpellier in December 2006, becoming the fifth Connacht player to do so and in 2009 he made his 100th league appearance for the westerners against Cardiff.
With 62 caps in the Amlin Challenge Cup and 30 points scored, Swift has played in the competition more times than any other player.
He scored a try against Bourgoin in Connacht’s 2010 Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final victory at the Sportsground and has won numerous man-of-the-match awards.
In 2010, Swift was honoured with the Galway Bay FM sports award for rugby, the same year he scored one of Connacht’s most memorable tries in their 27-13 home victory over Leinster.
The 6ft 5in, 119kg second row, who turns 34 next month, shows no sign of slowing down and remains a regular fixture in Eric Elwood’s Connacht squad.