Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have today announced that 24-year-old centre Dave McSharry has signed a new deal that will keep him at the Sportsground until at least the summer of 2017.
Dave McSharry joined Connacht in 2011 and since then the former Templeogue school boy has proven himself an exceptional ball carrier and a key component in Connacht’s defensive line. The Dubliner has played in 14 games this season, bringing his total Connacht tally to 58 senior caps.
He has established himself as a dangerous runner and his attacking prowess has come to the fore again this season with tries against Glasgow Warriors and Bayonne.
McSharry earned an Ireland ‘A’ cap in 2013, starting for the Wolfhounds side that played England Saxons at the Sportsground. A week later, he received a call-up to the Ireland Six Nations training squad but injury restricted his international progress last season.
Commenting on the news, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “Again this season, Dave has proven himself to be one of our most exciting and consistent young talents.
“We have every confidence that he can continue to perform at the highest level and be part of a thriving Connacht side that has great ambition.
“On the back of other young players, Darragh (Leader), Denis (Buckley), Niyi (Adeolokun), Quinn (Roux) and Ultan (Dillane), already committing this season with new contracts, we are delighted with the way the squad is taking shape.
“Although there is a lot to be done this year, we believe next season will be another exciting one for everyone involved with Connacht Rugby and we fully expect to keep improving on and off the field.”
The province’s head coach Pat Lam added: “We’re very pleased that Dave will continue to play his rugby with Connacht. He is an integral member of our team and someone we have a lot of confidence in.
“The fact that Robbie (Henshaw) is likely to be away with Ireland leading up to a World Cup year and with the recent injury to Bundee (Aki), it just highlights the importance of having quality experienced players across the squad.
“Our young back line is often talked about and the fact that Dave, at just 24-years-old, is seen as one of the more senior backs, speaks volumes of not only his talent but also the potential there to develop his game even further and go on to achieve great things both personally and with Connacht.”
McSharry himself said: “I’m obviously delighted to have another two years with Connacht. I’ve been here four years now and it’s very much home for me. A lot has changed since 2011 when I first came in but without a doubt we’ve been building bit by bit and getting closer and closer to achieving great things.
“It’s a really exciting time to be involved for everyone and I’m looking forward to seeing where we can go as a province.
“On a personal level, it’s been a good season so far and I’m really enjoying being part of a team with huge aspirations. I feel I am still improving as a player and it’s great that we have a squad of young players who are challenging each other week in week out for a starting spot.”
Meanwhile, following an MRI examination and consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon, it has been confirmed that Connacht centre Bundee Aki sustained a ruptured syndesmosis towards the end of the game with Edinburgh last week.
The 24-year-old will undergo surgery to the ankle next week and is likely to be sidelined for eight to 10 weeks.