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McCartney Eager To Make An Impact Out West

McCartney Eager To Make An Impact Out West

Connacht’s new front rower Tom McCartney was at the open training session at Buccaneers RFC in Athlone last week – 10 days after his arrival in Ireland.

Tom McCartney, who signed from Super Rugby side the Blues, talked about his reasons for moving to the other side of the world and what excites him about the challenge ahead.

Now facing into round 8 of the GUINNESS PRO12, the New Zealander is likely to kick-start his official three-year stint at Connacht with an involvement in Friday’s home game against Italian side Zebre (kick-off 7.35pm).

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Highly rated for his impressive strength and work ethic as well as the core skills of throwing, tackling and carrying, the 29-year-old, who weighs in at 110kg, has the ability to play both hooker and prop.

In 2013 with the Blues, he played in the number 1 jersey in the absence of All Black Tony Woodcock, but transitioned back to hooker last season.

Prior to his arrival in Galway, McCartney played in his eighth and final ITM Cup campaign in which he was asked to captain the provincial side.

The departing skipper was then presented with the prestigious Sir Fred Allen supreme award for the player who epitomises the qualities and values of Auckland Rugby to the highest standard and his overall commitment to his club, province and Super Rugby team over the past eight years.

McCartney first debuted for provincial side Auckland in 2007 when he was given his first start by then head coach Pat Lam, the same year the team went on to win the National Provincial Championship.

McCartney said: “I’ve obviously worked under Pat before and I really enjoy his coaching philosophy. He gave me my first start for Auckland back in 2007 and really, I owe a lot of my career achievements to him from those early days.”