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Connacht Sign Leinster Lock Marshall

Connacht Sign Leinster Lock Marshall

Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have announced the recruitment of Leinster lock Ben Marshall for next season.

Ben Marshall is a graduate of the Leinster Academy and has enjoyed a breakthrough to the senior team, earning 10 of his 20 senior caps this season, including an appearance in the European Champions Cup semi-final defeat away to eventual champions Toulon.

A mainstay in the Leinster ‘A’ team before making the step up to the senior side, the 24-year-old lock/back rower also has 10 Ireland Under-20 caps.

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The former St Andrew’s College player made his Leinster debut in the 2011/12 season when he came off the bench to replace Sean O’Brien in a 30-13 away win over Ulster at Ravenhill.

Commenting on the new signing, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “We’re delighted to have Ben joining up with us next season. He is a very exciting, young Irish player and we believe he will add a lot of value to our squad. We’re looking forward to welcoming him in the pre-season.”

Marshall himself admitted: “The opportunity to join Connacht is one that I am very much looking forward to. Their ambition excites me and I can’t wait to get started and to add to the mix. They have a good selection of second rows already but I look forward to putting my hand up for selection.

“I played at the Sportsground a few years back and it’s not unlike the RDS in many ways. The supporters are right on the pitch and it makes for a brilliant atmosphere. I’m looking forward to running out there and having them with me for a change!”

Connacht head coach Pat Lam added: “It’s great to have someone with Ben’s versatility joining our squad next season. He is a young player whose talent has already been recognised internationally as highlighted by his inclusion in the Ireland squad for this week’s game against the Barbarians and also the Emerging Ireland squad.

 “I have no doubt that he will fit in well within our culture and make the most of the opportunity to continue his growth and compete for a starting spot up front.”