Connacht have announced the signature of versatile back Alex Wootton from Munster. The 25-year-old will join on a one-year loan deal, contining the increasing trend of players moving between the Irish provinces.

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In May, Connacht confirmed that Munster players Sammy Arnold and Conor Oliver were both making the short trip up the road to the Sportsground, while Leinster duo Jack Aungier and Oisin Dowling also agreed deals to join Connacht.

On the same day, Munster announced they had signed 22-year-old tighthead prop Roman Salanoa on a two-year deal from Leinster.

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Wootton had already linked up with the Connacht squad this week, reporting for the first week of pre-season training ahead of the planned return to Guinness Pro14 action in August.

Originally from Stockport, Wootton has been capped for Ireland at Sevens and U20 level.

He joined the Munster academy in 2014 and was promoted to the senior squad in 2016. He made his Munster debut in September 2016 and has gone on to make 39 appearances for the province, scoring 13 tries along the way.

Munster head coach Johann van Graan said: “Alex is a great person and a talented player, we wish him all the best at Connacht.

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“Unfortunately, he got injured over the past year and struggled to fight his way back into the team. He’s looking for playing time and we wish him well with the move.”

Connacht head coach explained that he is hoping Wootton can improve his game with Connacht.

“I am really pleased to welcome Alex Wootton to the province,” Friend said.

“Alex is a very exciting back three player who has all the talent to take his game to the next level. His versatility across the back line will also help us as we look to compete on both fronts next season.

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“As a team, we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the Sportsground and integrating him into the playing squad.”

“I am delighted to be joining Connacht for the upcoming season,” Wootton said.

“After speaking to Andy and the rest of the coaching team it’s clear that this is a team full of ambition and belief, and I want to play my part in that.

“I can’t wait to meet the rest of the squad and begin preparations for what I’m sure will be a very exciting season.”

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