Dave Heffernan and Niyi Adeolokun are the latest two Connacht players to sign contract extensions with the province.
Heffernan has made 110 appearances for Connacht, having come through the club game in his native Ballina and joining the Connacht Academy in 2011. Initially starting his career as a back row, he converted to hooker in 2013.
At international level Heffernan was part of the Irish squad for the summer tour of the USA and Japan in 2017 and made his international debut against the USA.
Commenting on the contract extension, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “Dave is another example of the excellent work that is being done at grassroots level in the province. His emergence through the club game in Ballina, to play for his province and his country is exactly what our vision, Grassroots to Green Shirts represents”, the Head Coach said.
Winger Niyi Adeolokun joined Connacht ahead of the 2014-15 season and since has since made 82 appearances for the province, scoring 31 tries. The 28-year-old winger was capped for Ireland against Canada in 2016 and was also part of the Barbarians side that defeated England in Twickenham in the summer of 2018.
Commenting on Adeolokun’s contract, Friend added: “Our ambition is to continue to play an exciting, attacking brand of rugby. To deliver this we need highly skillful and versatile players like Niyi. He is a player that is still improving and giving us increased options all the time.”
The province announced that Connacht Attack Coach Nigel Carolan, Forwards Coach Jimmy Duffy and Defence Coach Peter Wilkins have all signed two-year contract extensions to take them up to the end of the 2020-21 season.
Making the announcement Friend said: “One of the first things that struck me when I took up the position of Head Coach of Connacht Rugby was the strength of the coaching team that was already in place. They are an exceptional team and one of the best collective groups I have worked with in my coaching career.
“Obviously a major priority for us has been to retain the services of these guys into the future and I am delighted that we are now in a position to announce this great news. We can now continue to focus on producing an exciting, attacking and ultimately winning brand of rugby for the seasons ahead.”
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