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Connacht Sign Harris-Wright And Murphy

Connacht Sign Harris-Wright And Murphy

With the Heineken Cup, RaboDirect PRO12 and British & Irish Cup competitions all arriving at the Sportsground next season, Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has added Jason Harris-Wright and Brian Murphy to the playing ranks.

Adding to the extensive expansion behind the scenes, Jason Harris-Wright and Brian Murphy both join Connacht on one-year contracts.

Along with the Heineken Cup returning to Galway, the British & Irish Cup will add to the number of competitive fixtures in the season and there is a massive opportunity for exposure to rugby at the top level.

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Connacht Rugby are delighted to be able to provide genuine rugby experience to emerging, Irish-qualified talent and Harris-Wright and Murphy are the latest additions to that contingent.

Hooker Harris-Wright is a product of the Leinster Academy and has 11 senior appearances for the province as well as four Heineken Cup matches under his belt, including the 2011 final victory over Northampton Saints.

The 24-year-old was part of the Ireland Under-20 World Championship team that beat Tonga in 2008 and featured in all bar one of Ireland U-20s’ Six Nations matches the same year.

Commenting on his move to Connacht, he said: “I would just like to say I’m delighted to have signed for Connacht Rugby and I’m really looking forward to being part of a great squad who I believe are making huge strides both in Europe and in the domestic competition.

“I look forward to meeting all the lads and getting stuck into pre-season next month.”

His inclusion in next season’s squad will strengthen the depth at hooker with the experienced Adrian Flavin and Ethienne Reynecke already in situ.

Speaking about Harris-Wright, Connacht assistant coach Dan McFarland said: “I’m delighted to be working with Jason again. Since I worked with him last with the Ireland U-20s he has gained a lot of experience including RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup with Leinster.

“He’s a good strong, aggressive athlete and this is a great opportunity for him to develop his game even further.”

Meanwhile, Murphy earns his first professional contract having joined from Ulster Bank League club Galwegians.

The 26-year-old was voted the iRadio Senior Club Player of the Year at the recent Connacht Awards, having performed consistently over the course of the season.

The versatile centre/full-back, who came through the Connacht age-grade system, was part of the Connacht Under-21 side that beat Leinster at Donnybrook back in 2006.

He went on to represent Connacht at junior level before moving from Corrib RFC to Galwegians RFC and has been rewarded for his strong displays in the Ulster Bank League this season.