Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of Ireland Under-20 prop Sam Illo.
Illo represents Old Wesley RFC and has played for Leinster at underage level, before going on to feature at tighthead in all five of Ireland’s Under-20 Six Nations games this summer.
The 20-year-old has signed a two-year deal and will link up with the Connacht squad next week as they continue their pre-season preparations.
Commenting on the province’s newest signing, head coach Andy Friend said: “Sam’s arrival to Connacht is another boost for us ahead of the new season.
“He was one of Ireland’s standout performers in the recent Under-20 Six Nations and has a very bright future ahead of him.
“I’m confident that at Connacht he will be able to take his game to the next level and give us further options in the front row.”
Illo says he cannot wait to join up with the squad, admitting: “I’m over the moon to be joining Connacht Rugby and I’d like to thank Andy and all the coaches for giving me this opportunity.
I’m especially looking forward to linking up with Colm Tucker after working closely with him while with the Ireland Under-20s.
“To sign my first pro contract is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get started with the rest of the squad.”