Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have announced that John Muldoon has signed a new contract for the 2016/17 season.
John Muldoon is currently in his 13th season of a professional career at Connacht and has captained the side for five of those seasons. The Portumna man made his senior debut in 2004 and has since played 260 times for the province, including 58 European games.
The highest capped player, both for Connacht and in the PRO12, he has played in 11 of Connacht’s 15 matches this season, starting all but one. He touched down for his 16th Connacht try in the memorable win over Enisei-STM in Siberia in November.
The 33-year-old back rower has played for Ireland on three occasions, the last cap coming against New Zealand in June 2010. He was called up to the Ireland squad during the 2012 GUINNESS Series, but his campaign was cut short when he was forced off with an injury during the second half of Ireland XV’s non-cap international against Fiji.
Commenting on his extended stay, Muldoon said: “It was very easy for me to sign on with Connacht for another year. I love this place, and I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere else now.
“I”m definitely the ‘old man’ in the squad now that ‘Swifty’ (Michael Swift) is gone but I don’t feel it. Playing and training with these younger lads just drives me on even further and I’m really enjoying what we’re doing as a squad.
“Connacht has changed immeasurably since I started out but every year we have been building and I’ve just loved being a part of it. There have been plenty of highs and lows but those experiences, particularly the lows, just remind me of how far we have come.
“I’m excited about the rest of the season and the next and I believe we can achieve big things for Connacht.”
Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane commented: “I’m delighted for Connacht Rugby, our supporters and for John himself that he will be playing at the Sportsground next season. Having spent his entire rugby career with Connacht, John is a valued member of the side and highly respected both here and in the community.
“When you hear John speak to his team-mates, whether before or after a game or just a quiet word with one of the Academy players, you can see clearly how much it all means to him. He brings a great deal to Connacht Rugby, both on and off the pitch, and we’re delighted to have him for at least another year.”
Head coach Pat Lam added: “Not only is John one of the most consistent players in terms of his performances, he is a hugely respected individual as our captain. After so many years, he continues to demand high standards of himself and of everyone around him.
“With the amount of youth we have coming through, you cannot underestimate the importance of his experience and his character when it comes to helping others understand who and what Connacht stands for.
“He epitomises the ‘Connacht man’ and is a great example to our younger players about what you can achieve with hard work. Personally I am very happy to be working with John again next season.”