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Five Ireland internationals among 21 new contracts announced by Connacht

By PA
Ireland fly-half Jack Carty (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Ireland internationals Dave Heffernan, Ultan Dillane, Finlay Bealham and Jack Carty are among 21 players to have agreed contract extensions with Connacht.

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The quartet have re-signed for the province ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Hooker Heffernan and lock Dillane were included in Andy Farrell’s national squad for this year’s Guinness Six Nations, with the latter coming off the bench in the 15-13 defeat to France on February 14.

Australia-born prop Bealham has not played for his adopted country since last year’s Autumn Nations Cup, while Carty has not featured since the 2019 World Cup.

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Wing Alex Wootton – the Guinness PRO14’s joint-top try-scorer – has signed a permanent contract with the Westerners having joined on loan from Munster last summer.

The new contracts include 19 players from the club’s current squad, plus first professional deals for academy products Oran McNulty and Cian Prendergast.

Head coach Andy Friend told Connacht’s website: “I am delighted to see so many of our current crop of players sign on for another season.

“This is still a very challenging time for everyone in Irish rugby so to have them commit to Connacht Rugby again says it all about the belief we have as a group to continue the progress we’re making.”

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B.J. Spratt 3 hours ago
Jono Gibbes' reaction to France U20s putting 55 points on New Zealand

N.Z. Under 20'‘s concede 7 tries to France Unfortunately New Zealand Rugby has lost over 25% + of players between 12-18 over the last 3-5 years, possibly more. Poor administration and a Shocking Public Perception about the NZRFU has finally caught up with these dinosaurs. 66% of N.Z. Population lives North of Hamilton and 52% of Auckland population are Asian, who would rather play football. Rugby is dying while other Sports are growing. The rules need to change around the collision/tackle but personally I think the absolute “Arrogance and Stupidity” that the NZRFU has demonstrated over the decades, “with their jobs for the boys attitude” has led to their demise. A Professional Players Union that can somehow “Disassociate itself from the “Old men with bad breath and dandruff” that is the NZRFU, will be a huge challenge. Personally I think it’s far too late to recover and rejuvenate interest in Rugby by young players. Rugby is booming in France and that’s the difference. A booming Professional domestic League. NZRFU are “Not fit for purpose” and have no idea about commercial reality My kids generation would rather their kids don’t play Rugby. Very aware of CTE and the NZRFU arrogance and stupidity, in denying its existence. Finally, the NZRFU have managed to cover up ”Numerous serious crimes over the decades, committed by players, coaches and administrators simply because the tentacles of their “Power and Influence” have reached all sectors of New Zealand Society, including the Judiciary, Politicians, Police and Big business. Denying CTE even exists is a “no brainer for them”

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