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Duffy Signs Contract Extension With Connacht

Duffy Signs Contract Extension With Connacht

Connacht full-back and captain Gavin Duffy has penned a contract extension which will keep him at the Sportsground until at least 2014.

Gavin Duffy, who hails from Ballina in County Mayo, led Connacht to victory against Benetton Treviso at the start of the season and it has been an historic couple of months for the province since then.

First up was dealing with a newly-refurbished stadium and the crowds the Sportsground attracted, then there was Connacht’s first ever Heineken Cup campaign, beating Harlequins, taking on the mighty Toulouse and pushing Gloucester right to the wire twice.

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Agonisingly close games against the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Leinster and Munster and morale-boosting victories over Edinburgh, the Scarlets and a double over the Newport Gwent Dragons means this season has had it all and the 30-year-old Duffy has been leading his men through thick and thin.

With the experience of four years at Harlequins, ten Ireland caps and over 100 appearances for Connacht to call on, Duffy’s leadership has been evident in the manner in which Connacht reacted to a series of close losses earlier in the season.

They have pulled out all the stops to beat Aviva Premiership leaders Harlequins before toppling Edinburgh, drawing with play-off hopefuls Glasgow Warriors and overcoming the Dragons in their own backyard.

Committing his future to his home province, Duffy said: “Staying with Connacht means a huge amount to me. As a team we have become a really tight-knit group this season and that is only going to get better next season as we add even more quality to the side.

“Staying at the Sportsground, and the security a two-year deal brings, means I can concentrate on my own game, getting the best out of the people around me and driving Connacht forward.

“Staying in Ireland also means that I’m still available for national selection and winning more Irish caps is always a goal of mine.

“Bringing up a young family in Galway is great and my wife and five-month-old daughter are very happy here, so I’m delighted to be able to commit to Connacht for the next two seasons.”

Speaking about the deal, Connacht head coach Eric Elwood said: “I’m delighted that Gavin is here to stay. We all know he’s very proud of where he comes from and it was a great honour for him to lead his team this year in our first ever Heineken Cup season.

“We’ve enjoyed the highs and lows of this season and we’re looking to finish on an up and getting news like this is great for the squad going forward into next year.”