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Griffin among Connacht's departures list

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Retiring Eoin Griffin is one of nine end-of-season Connacht departures

Retiring midfielder Eoin Griffin is one of nine end-of-season departures from Connacht. Griffin made over 100 appearances during two spells at his native province, but his progress has been hampered by injury this season.

The 28-year-old, who also spent two seasons at London Irish, won’t be alone in leaving the PRO14 outfit. Conor McKeon, another whose season has been blighted by injury, has also decided to retire while coach Andy Friend has released seven other players. 

Those departing in the hope of continuing their careers elsewhere are Craig Ronaldson, James Mitchell, James Connolly, Conan O’Donnell, Peter McCabe, Peter Claffey and James Cannon.

Friend said: “Eoin Griffin has been a fantastic servant of Connacht with over 100 appearances for his home province and we wish him the very best as he announces his retirement. 

“The nature of professional rugby is that a player’s longevity at a club is finite. To all of those men who are leaving Connacht this season, a sincere thank you for all that you have given to the jersey. We wish you every success for the future.”

Connacht’s Thursday wasn’t only about the exit door at the Sportsground, as Friend announced that hooker Shane Delahunt and centre Peter Robb have both extended their contracts.

Delahunt joined Connacht through the academy in 2014 and made his debut for the province in September of that year. The 25-year-old has a total of 62 appearances, 19 this season.

Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Robb has recovered from two long-term injuries over the past two seasons and has featured in Connacht’s last four PRO14 games.

Friend explained: “Shane and Peter are two players who are very much part of our plans as we finalise our squad for next season. Our ambition is to be regularly competing at the highest level and bring further success to Connacht. To do this we need real depth in our squad and players putting each other under pressure for places.”

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Retiring Eoin Griffin is one of nine end-of-season Connacht departures