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Ireland U-20 Quartet Join Connacht Academy

Ireland U-20 Quartet Join Connacht Academy

Connacht have confirmed the recruitment of five new players to year 1 of the Connacht Academy. Four of the new intake have represented the Ireland Under-20s in the past year.

Sligo RFC duo Cillian Gallagher and Stephen Kerins and Buccaneers clubman Conor Kenny all played their part in the first ever Ireland Under-20 team to reach a World Rugby U-20 Championship final.

Connacht Academy Manager Nigel Carolan has also drafted in the Portumna-born Peter Claffey. Playing with Galwegians RFC, the 6ft 5in lock was capped for the Ireland U-20s during the 2016 U-20 RBS 6 Nations but missed out on the World Championship with injury.

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Meanwhile, the 20-year-old winger Adam Leavy joins the Connacht Academy from Dublin. The former St. Michael’s College student was brought into the province’s sub-Academy at the beginning of last season and featured for Connacht Eagles in the British & Irish Cup.

Peter Claffey (Galwegians RFC) – Second Row
Cillian Gallagher (Sligo RFC) – Second Row
Conor Kenny (Buccaneers RFC) – Prop
Stephen Kerins (Sligo RFC) – Scrum Half
Adam Leavy (Galwegians RFC) – Winger

Speaking about the upcoming season and new crop of players, Carolan said: “It’s fantastic to have such a talented group of players coming into the Academy for the coming season. All five have been a part of our sub-Academy programme so they know what to expect in a professional environment.
“With eight of our Academy players capped in the PRO12 and Challenge Cup last season and six graduating to the senior squad this year, the players can see how close they are to making it to the next stage once they put the hard work in. Our goal in the Academy is to develop more and more players to go on and play for Connacht and Ireland.”


YEAR 3 –

Jamie Dever – Tighthead Prop
Jack Dinneen – Hooker
Ciaran Gaffney – Back-Three
Marc Kelly – Back Rower
Conor McKeon – Scrum Half
Saba Meunargia – Tighthead Prop
YEAR 2 –

Cormac Brennan – Back-Three
Conor Kyne – Loosehead Prop
Conor Lowndes – Scrum Half
Stephen McVeigh – Back Rower
Conan O’Donnell – Tighthead Prop
Ed O’Keeffe – Back-Three 
Pat O’Toole – Hooker
Cian Romaine – Second Row

YEAR 1 –

Peter Claffey – Second Row
Cillian Gallagher – Second Row
Conor Kenny – Prop
Stephen Kerins – Scrum Half
Adam Leavy – Winger