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Connacht name the 12 players leaving at the end of their season

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Connacht have confirmed the names of all twelve players leaving them at end of the current season, adding that a squad of 44 has so far been assembled for next season. Beaten in the Heineken Champions Cup round of 16 by Leinster last month, the Irish province have just one match remaining in a disappointing twelfth place URC season – against Zebre in Galway on May 21.

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Ahead of that campaign-ending fixture, head coach Andy Friend outlined the changes that will be happening to his squad in the off-season. The departure of five players was already known, but it has now been confirmed that seven more of the 2021/22 squad will be exiting The Sportground – including the long-serving Eoghan Masterson.

A Connacht statement read: “Connacht rugby can confirm the players who will depart the club at the end of the season. As previously announced, Ultan Dillane, Sammy Arnold, Abraham Papali’i and Tietie Tuimauga will leave the club at the end of their contracts to play in France, while Matt Healy has announced his retirement from pro rugby.

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Eben Etzebeth | Rugby Roots
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Eben Etzebeth | Rugby Roots

“Centurion Eoghan Masterson will move on after a nine-year spell at the club, as does centre Peter Robb who featured in the 2016 PRO12 final. Also leaving the club are Greg McGrath, Jonny Murphy, Ben O’Donnell, Dominic Robertson-McCoy and Peter Sullivan.”

Head coach Friend said: “I’d like to thank all the players who have each contributed to Connacht rugby in their own way. Comings and goings are part and parcel of professional rugby and I wish them every success in the future. As is tradition we will thank them in front of our supporters at the end of our final game of the season against Zebre.”

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Connacht (44-man squad for 2022/23 season):
Forwards (24)
Jack AUNGIER
Finlay BEALHAM
Ciaran BOOTH
Paul BOYLE
Denis BUCKLEY
Matthew BURKE
Jarrad BUTLER
Shane DELAHUNT
Peter DOOLEY
Oisín DOWLING
Jordan DUGGAN
Leva FIFITA
Dave HEFFERNAN
Shamus HURLEY-LANGTON
Sam ILLO
Seán MASTERSON
Oisín MCCORMACK
Josh MURPHY
Darragh MURRAY
Niall MURRAY
Conor OLIVER
Cian PRENDERGAST
Gavin THORNBURY
Dylan TIERNEY-MARTIN

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Backs (20)
Bundee AKI
Caolin BLADE
Shayne BOLTON
Adam BYRNE
Jack CARTY
Tom DALY
Tom FARRELL
Conor FITZGERALD
Cathal FORDE
Mack HANSEN
David HAWKSHAW
Shane JENNINGS
Diarmuid KILGALLEN
Kieran MARMION
Oran MCNULTY
Tiernan O’HALLORAN
John PORCH
Byron RALSTON
Colm REILLY
Alex WOOTTON

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