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Connacht sign Irish qualified ex-Aussie U20s star Ralston

By Kim Ekin
Force player Byron Ralston (C) is congratulated by teammate Richard Kahui (R) after scoring a try against the Rebels during the Super Rugby match between the Melbourne Rebels and the Western Force (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

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Connacht have signed an ex-Australia U20s star from Super Rugby’s Western Force. Winger/centre Byron Ralston has made 14 Super Rugby appearances for the Force scoring 5 tries.

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Ralston will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Aussie-born Ireland sensation Mack Hansen, who has has enjoyed a breakout season in the URC and this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

The 21-year-old Ralston has also enjoyed fine form for the club in the National Rugby Championship, scoring 7 tries in 8 games as he helped them to win the 2019 Grand Final. He played most of his rugby on the wing and at outside-centre.

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Byron Ralston says he looking forward to the chance to connect with his Irish roots.

“Moving to Connacht Rugby and the West of Ireland is a brilliant opportunity for me. The style of rugby that they play will suit me down to the ground, and it gives me a chance to reconnect with my Irish roots. I’m obviously aware of the positive experience other Aussies have had after moving to Connacht, and so I will be doing all I can to make a similar impact and help the club achieve the level of success they are all working towards.”

The 6’1, 88kg back was born in Darwin and then moved to Brisbane where he played High School and Club rugby.

“I’m delighted that Byron has chosen to further his career with us,” said Connacht head coach Andy Friend. “He’s been playing as a winger for the Force, but also plays 13, so he’s yet another player we have who has great versatility. Given he’s only 21, he will get a great opportunity to grow his game here and be an important part of our setup.”

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