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9 years 2 months ago #35121

Connacht Rugby wrote: Connacht Rugby confirm departing players
For immediate release: Saturday 16 May 2015
Issued on behalf of Connacht Rugby

Connacht Rugby can today confirm that the following players will leave the province at the end of the 2014/15 season:

Michael Swift (263 appearances)*
Miah Nikora (82 appearances)*
Mick Kearney (68 appearances)
Willie Faloon (39 appearances)
Sean Henry (16 appearances)
Mata Fifita (15 appearances)
Mils Muliaina (11 appearances)
Shane Layden (4 appearances)

*appearances up to PRO12 round 21

Willie Ruane, CEO at Connacht Rugby, said: "We would like to thank all of the players for their commitment to Connacht Rugby during their time at the club and wish them the very best as they take up fresh challenges and the next stage of their careers.

"We will pay tribute to their contribution with presentations to them on the pitch and at our Awards Night following Saturday's home game with Ospreys."

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9 years 2 months ago #35124

sea_point wrote:

Connacht Rugby wrote: Connacht Rugby can today confirm that the following players will leave the province at the end of the 2014/15 season:

Michael Swift (263 appearances)*
Miah Nikora (82 appearances)*
Mick Kearney (68 appearances)
Willie Faloon (39 appearances)
Sean Henry (16 appearances)
Mata Fifita (15 appearances)
Mils Muliaina (11 appearances)
Shane Layden (4 appearances)


That leaves the following likely staying, but with no announcement on deals as yet:

Heffernan, JP Cooney, Qualter, O'Leary, Finn and Carr.

Of the players leaving the 41 man Pro squad, one of Kearney/Swifty (Dillane - academy), Fifita (Masterson - academy), Faloon (Fox-Matamua - Auckland NPC) have been replaced and Blade is added. That leaves a maximum of 4 signings this summer, but I doubt we'll see even that: Delahunt's progress means there's no need to sign a replacement for Henry and with TOH and Leader to play full back and the likes of Gaffney in the pipeline there's no need to replace either of Muliaina or Layden.

There's a gap at 10 obviously, wondering if we have the money to sign someone (Hickey from Auckland Blues would be an obvious target) or if McKeon will be third 10. Likewise we have tons of upcoming talent in the back 5 of the pack (Connolly, Romaine) but losing Swifty and Kearney at the same time takes out a lot of experience, I'd imagine we'd sign one player their if we had the cash left over.

Interestingly the only graduate from year 3 of the academy is Dillane, who's signed on a pro deal now (Masterson and Blade were year 2 and were jumped ahead for obvious reasons). Anyone know if Sean O'Brien has managed to recover from his injury? By my count I don't think he's played for a year now.

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9 years 1 month ago #35132

Swifty is retiring correct? Probably just the way they worded it to say which players would not be with the team next season, but it seems awkward to have lumped a retiring Connacht legend in with this group of players that is moving on. He has more appearances than the other 7 combined.

The lack of signings has been unsettling to say the least. As it stands now it is hard to see Connacht improving next season unless the young lads step it up and by some miracle everyone stays relatively healthy. Really need a quality outhalf, just can't see where he would come from though.

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9 years 1 month ago #35137

The first I heard about the players who weren't getting their contracts renewed was in the match programme. Did the branch announce them earlier than that? If not that's very bad form, particularly for Miah who's been here 5 years now and has been a great servant if never nailing down the 10 jersey. I'm sure many of us will never forget that cracking last minute drop goal against Bourgoin under pressure:


“I wanna f#*kin' win, I wanna f#*kin' win..............BADLY”
The following user(s) said Thank You: The IMF, Folski

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9 years 1 month ago #35138

Apparently a press release was sent out a couple of minutes after the game kicked off. We already knew about Miah though, he's going to Zebra isn't he? Sean Henry and Mata Fifita were the surprises.


"Our march is quite slow y'know, when we get to where we want to get to, it's going to take time, but when we get there it's going to be fantastic." - Johnny O'Connor 2013

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9 years 1 month ago #35140

Decadence wrote: We already knew about Miah though, he's going to Zebra isn't he?


Is he?? Completely missed that, I was away for a few weeks though. Best of luck to him.


“I wanna f#*kin' win, I wanna f#*kin' win..............BADLY”

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9 years 1 month ago #35142

menacethedenis wrote:

Decadence wrote: We already knew about Miah though, he's going to Zebra isn't he?


Is he?? Completely missed that, I was away for a few weeks though. Best of luck to him.

not confirmed yet but apparently under negotiation.
Shane Leydon is moving to the Ireland sevens setup
Sean Henry retiring apparently due to poor rehab from his last knee injury.

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9 years 1 month ago #35143

Anyone know if Mata's moving on to somewhere else or what the story is there?

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9 years 1 month ago #35145

Very badly handled to be honest. Was looking at the phone at half time and saw a story on the Connacht players leaving. Apparently went out at 3.02. Why it couldn't have been done on Friday is beyond me. The silence is deafening on any new signings but I suppose it may be contingent on how the next week or two go.

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9 years 1 month ago #35149

Bad form alright. We were joking on the terrace that the players were just being told live on the pitch who wasn't getting a contract. I would've thought Miah would have got more of a mention at the presentation. Always a popular player.

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9 years 1 month ago #35150

Borders no.2 wrote: Very badly handled to be honest. Was looking at the phone at half time and saw a story on the Connacht players leaving. Apparently went out at 3.02. Why it couldn't have been done on Friday is beyond me. The silence is deafening on any new signings but I suppose it may be contingent on how the next week or two go.


I thought Pat was pretty clear that any extra money has been put into player retention rather than recruitment. Not exactly the news we wanted to hear, second row at the very least needs another recruit and preferably two.

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9 years 1 month ago #35194

Do you think Shane Monahan would add any value to our squad after being released by Gloucester - would he push poolman And Niyi ?

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9 years 1 month ago #35274

www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/champions...season-31253231.html

Thought Jack was immense on sunday - but had hoped another experienced ten would have come in to nurture him along - but Pat seems to have put that to bed.

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9 years 1 month ago #35281

Forwards Dave Heffernan, Danny Qualter, JP Cooney and versatile back Shane O’Leary have become the latest players to sign new one-year contract extensions with Connacht Rugby and the IRFU.

Ben Marshall also signed for second row

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9 years 1 month ago #35282

swift4prez wrote: Forwards Dave Heffernan, Danny Qualter, JP Cooney and versatile back Shane O’Leary have become the latest players to sign new one-year contract extensions with Connacht Rugby and the IRFU.

Ben Marshall also signed for second row


Spotted Ben Marshall in the squad list.......was that every announced? Don't remember hearing that anywhere

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9 years 1 month ago #35283

No. Not even in the statement but added to the updated squad list.

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