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Butler And Farrell To Leave Connacht At End Of Season

Butler And Farrell To Leave Connacht At End Of Season

Dublin-born centre Tom Farrell is pictured running in Connacht's fourth try during their recent BKT United Rugby Championship win at home to Zebre Parma ©INPHO/James Crombie

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

As previously announced, Tiernan O’Halloran will retire at the end of the season after a 15-year career at his home province, while Diarmuid Kilgallen will move to Munster.

Centurions Jarrad Butler and Tom Farrell will also move on at the end of the campaign. Both players joined Connacht in 2017, with Butler appointed as club captain for four seasons and earning 126 caps. Farrell scored 21 tries in 112 appearances for the westerners.

Also leaving the Connacht set-up are Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Tom DalyGavin ThornburyMatthew BurkeOran McNulty and Tadgh McElroy, while Michael McDonald will return to Ulster after completing his season-long loan.

Head coach Pete Wilkins commented: “All our departing players should be very proud of the contributions they’ve made to Connacht Rugby.

“It’s never easy to say goodbye to players, particularly those who have been with us for so long, but they’ve made a lasting impression with their team-mates, the wider management team and the supporters.

“On behalf of everyone at Connacht I sincerely thank them and wish them every success in the future. I’m sure they’ll get the reception they deserve after the Stormers game, and they will always be welcome back to Dexcom Stadium.”

Meanwhile, Connacht have also announced their 43-man playing squad for the 2024/25 season, with a total of nine additions to the professional ranks.

As well as previously-announced signings, Temi LasisiDavid O’ConnorPiers O’ConorAdam McBurney, and Ben Murphy, also rejoining the squad is Josh Murphy after his 12-month leave to complete his medical studies.

Also bolstering the senior side next season will be Academy graduates, Matthew DevineHugh Gavin, and Chay Mullins.

“We’re very excited about the squad we’ve assembled next season,” added Wilkins. “We have evolved certain position groups, with the primary aim to strengthen the squad while still providing our exciting crop of young players the opportunity for further growth and development.

“It was important for us to have a degree of flexibility in certain positions, particularly around lock, back row and back-three. That versatility will be really important for us as the season plays out.

“It is a slightly smaller squad than the one that started this season which was a necessity due to the World Cup, so I think 43 contracted pro players, with our integrated Academy set-up, gives us the right balance to allow us to compete on both fronts.”


Props (7) – Jack Aungier, Finlay Bealham, Denis Buckley, Peter Dooley, Jordan Duggan, Sam Illo, Temi Lasisi

Hookers (4) – Eoin de Buitléar, Dave Heffernan, Adam McBurney, Dylan Tierney-Martin

Locks (6) – Oisín Dowling, Joe Joyce, Josh Murphy, Darragh Murray, Niall Murray, David O’Connor

Back Row (7) – Paul Boyle, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Sean Jansen, Oisín McCormack, Seán O’Brien, Conor Oliver, Cian Prendergast

Scrum-Half (4) – Caolin Blade, Matthew Devine, Ben Murphy, Colm Reilly

Out-Half (2) – Jack Carty, JJ Hanrahan

Centre (6) – Bundee Aki, Cathal Forde, Hugh Gavin, David Hawkshaw, Piers O’Conor, Byron Ralston

Back-Three (7) – Shayne Bolton, Santiago Cordero, Mack Hansen, Shane Jennings, Chay Mullins, John Porch, Andrew Smith