Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of Australian Sevens international John Porch ahead of the 2019/20 season.
The speedy winger was recruited into the Sevens programme by Andy Friend while he was head coach of the Australian Sevens team in 2015.
In his first nine appearances for Australia, Porch scored 96 points and helped them to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2016. In the 2017/18 World Series he went on to score an impressive 28 tries throughout the competition.
Commenting on the squad’s latest addition, Connacht boss Friend said: “John Porch is a player that was identified as a prospect for the Australian Sevens squad in early 2016. I was extremely impressed by his performances in his first tournament and subsequently offered him a contract.
“He was a hugely impressive player at Sevens level, and I believe that he will suit the style of play and culture in Connacht as we prepare for the season ahead.”
The 25-year-old Porch, who stands at 6ft 1in and weighs 15 stone and eight pounds, added: “I am really excited about signing for Connacht. I obviously know Andy from his time with the Australia Sevens programme and he recruited me and gave me my debut in 2015.
“The possibility of playing Champions Cup rugby in the Sportsground next season is an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down. I’m looking forward to getting over to Ireland now and linking up with the squad.”
Following Connacht’s newest signing, Friend also spoke about the depth that now exists in the province with the large number of contract extensions and new players being added to the squad.
“Ahead of next season I am extremely happy with the depth of our squad. We have already announced the signing of Paddy McAllister, Tom Daly, Stephen Fitzgerald, Angus Lloyd and Rory Burke, in addition to Paul Boyle, Conor Fitzgerald, Matthew Burke, Conor Kenny and Stephen Kerins who have graduated from our Academy this season.
“We have also had a huge focus on retaining our existing talent with contract renewals for many of our internationals and more senior players in the squad.”