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Contract Extensions For Connacht’s McKeon And Leader

Contract Extensions For Connacht’s McKeon And Leader

Connacht Rugby and the IRFU have confirmed contract extensions for two of the province’s local players, Eoin McKeon and Darragh Leader.

Galway-born Eoin McKeon made his professional debut away to the Scarlets in April 2010 and has since played 105 times for his native province. A graduate of the Connacht Academy, the 25-year-old has represented Ireland at Under-18, Under-19 and Under-20 levels. In the summer of 2013, he travelled with the Emerging Ireland squad to Georgia to play in the Tbilisi Cup.
A former student of Colaiste Iognaid, McKeon has featured in 20 of Connacht’s 26 matches so far this season, starting in the back row for 14 of those games and touching down for tries against the Ospreys and Edinburgh in the GUINNESS PRO12.
Darragh Leader, who hails from Castlegar, Co. Galway, has also put pen to paper on a new deal with his native province. The versatile back-three player returns to full training this week having initially recovered from a long-term hand injury and subsequently a minor hamstring issue.
A Connacht Academy graduate, the 23-year-old made his senior debut for Connacht in October 2012 away to the Ospreys in the PRO12 and has since played 51 times for the province. Having attended St. Joseph’s College, he played all his club rugby with Galwegians and went on to represent Ireland at Under-19 and Under-20 levels.

Commenting on the latest contract news, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “The contract extensions of local-born players Eoin and Darragh is great news for Connacht Rugby and our supporters. We are really pleased with how are retention plan is taking shape for next season and beyond.
“Eoin is part of a highly competitive forward pack here at Connacht and he is comfortable playing across the back row, as evidenced this season. His agility and athletic ball-carrying ability continues to grow game after game.
“While Darragh has been unfortunate with injury over the last year, he has shown his determination and mental hunger to come back from disappointment. While his strength lies at full-back, he has shown his versatility by switching to the wing and centre on different occasions.

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“His goal-kicking abilities, especially from long range, have also been called upon in the past. We hope to see him back in a Connacht jersey very soon.”

Meanwhile, the latest injury update from the Connacht camp confirmed that McKeon has completed his return-to-play protocols following the head injury he sustained against Leinster last time out.

As the westerners prepare to host the Scarlets in the penultimate round of the PRO12, prop Conor Carey will integrate into training with the squad this week following his foot injury he sustained in December.

Quinn Roux has completed his return-to-play protocols following his recent head injury, while Steve Crosbie, who sustained an AC joint injury during the derby defeat to Leinster, will be monitored this week.

Matt Healy has recovered from his recent hand injury and will return to partial training this week, Cian Kelleher will integrate into training following his hamstring injury sustained in December, but Niyi Adeolokun, who injured his hamstring against Leinster, will be out of action for four to five weeks.