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Eight Players To Leave Connacht At End Of Season

Eight Players To Leave Connacht At End Of Season

Half-backs Kieran Marmion and Conor Fitzgerald are pictured running out at the Sportsground earlier this season ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Connacht Rugby have confirmed the players who will depart the province at the end of the season.

As previously announced, double centurion Kieran Marmion moves to Bristol Bears at the end of the campaign, while Shane Delahunt and Alex Wootton have announced their retirements from professional rugby.

Also leaving Connacht are Adam Byrne, Leva Fifita, Conor Fitzgerald, Sean Masterson and Ciaran Booth.

The westerners’ director of rugby Andy Friend commented: “The eight men have each made their own unique contributions to Connacht Rugby, so I’d like to thank them and wish them every success in the future, wherever their path may take them.

“I’m sure they’ll get a well-deserved reception when we acknowledge them on the pitch after our final home game against Cardiff on Saturday.”

He added: “I also want to thank Mossy Lawler and Dewald Senekal who finish up with us at the end of the season, after two years in the professional coaching team.

“They’ve both played very important roles in the development of the squad in that time, and to them and their families I wish them every happiness in the future.”

Meanwhile, the BKT United Rugby Championship encounter with Cardiff will also be Australian Friend’s last game at home after five seasons with Connacht. He spoke about how he is feeling ahead of it.

“I haven’t given it a great deal of thought to be honest,” he admitted. “My brother is coming over from Australia, he said to me three months ago, ‘it’s a bit of a pisser I haven’t been over to Connacht and sorry I won’t be able to get there’.

“I said that’s a choice you’ve made there, mate, and then next thing he rang me saying, righto, I’m coming’.

“My two boys have been here as well as my folks in my first season, but it’s the first time my brother is coming so that will special.

“This Saturday isn’t about me or anyone else leaving. It’s about us a collective trying to get another win and stay in that top eight of the URC.”