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Swift Set For Another Season With Connacht

Swift Set For Another Season With Connacht

Connacht have announced that veteran lock Michael Swift has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Sportsground for at least another season.

Michael Swift, the longest serving player at Connacht, has chalked up a record 157 RaboDirect PRO12 appearances and has also played 70 games in the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge during his 14 seasons with the province.

Born in London in 1977, ‘Swifty’ played for Richmond as a flanker before spending a season at Leeds Tykes. He 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.

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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 against the Cardiff Blues.

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 victory over Leinster at the Sportsground.

He became the first player in Connacht’s history to reach the 200-cap milestone when he lined out against Edinburgh in September 2011.

The 6ft 5in, 120kg second row remains a regular fixture in the team, having played in 12 of Connacht’s RaboDirect PRO12 games this season as well as four Heineken Cup games, and shows no sign of slowing down.

“I’m delighted to have signed for another year with Connacht Rugby. It’s an exciting time to be involved with the province and in a squad that is shaping up nicely for next season,” admitted Swift.

“I’ve been here a long time now but every season, every game, it’s still so exciting to me and I feel I have a lot more to give.”

When Swift was appointed ‘club captain’ for the current season, head coach Eric Elwood spoke about the loyalty and commitment of his former team-mate.

“Swifty is a fantastic ambassador for Connacht Rugby. He plays 100% on and off the field. He acts as a great support to the management, the players and the sponsors,” explained Elwood.

“And he is an incredible role model for the younger players coming up through the ranks. There is a lot of respect there for Swifty, both within the squad and from the supporters and wider community.”