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Gavin Joins Professional Ranks At Connacht

Gavin Joins Professional Ranks At Connacht

Current Ireland Under-20 international Hugh Gavin is pictured during a Connacht training session earlier in the season ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Promising centre Hugh Gavin has become the latest Connacht Academy player to sign a professional contract with the province.

Gavin made headlines earlier this year with his performances for Ireland in the Under-20 Six Nations Championship. He the player-of-the-match in their first round win away to France.

This came on the back of his involvement with the 2023 Under-20 Grand Slam-winning team, and as a finalist at last summer’s World Rugby U-20 Championship.

The 20-year old Galway native plays his club rugby at Galwegians RFC, and previously represented Coláiste Iognáid in the Connacht Schools Cup competitions.

Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins commented: “We’re incredibly excited by Hugh’s potential. During his age-grade rugby, we have seen him develop into an incredibly physical and well-rounded centre, and he will be a great asset to our senior professional squad.

“We have all seen that talent on display in Ireland’s last two U20 Six Nations campaigns, and I want to congratulate Eric (Elwood) and our Academy coaches, as well as Hugh’s coaches at Galwegians and ‘The Jes’, for the role they played in his development.”

Commenting on the wider Academy integration this year, he added: “This year we introduced a new approach with the Academy department on how we grow our up-and-coming talent.

“By increasing the integration between both set-ups, all of our Academy players have trained alongside our professional squad and kept to a similar weekly schedule.

“The benefits have been enormous, not only for the Academy players in exposing them to a professional environment, but also for both sets of coaches and management to work so closely together.

Today’s news of Matthew and Hugh moving to pro contracts next season was helped massively by how we’ve approached the last year, and it will always be a major aim of Connacht’s to continue developing our homegrown players.”