Connacht Rugby plans ahead for 2020/21 season

Connacht Rugby has confirmed the signings of Munster duo Sammy Arnold and Conor Oliver and Leinster pair Jack Aungier and Oisin Dowling as plans for the 2020/21 season continue.

The quartet will become Connacht Rugby players from July 1, with Arnold, Dowling and Aungier penning two-year deals.

Irish international Arnold has made 44 appearances for Munster since joining the province from Ulster in 2016, scoring eight tries in the process. The 24-year-old centre has been named both Ulster Academy Player of the Year and Munster Young Player of the Year, and made his international debut against USA in the 2018 autumn internationals.

Back row Oliver has featured 28 times for Munster since making his debut in February 2016 and was named Munster Academy Player of the Year the following season. The 24-year-old can play on either flanks or as a number eight, expanding the coaching team’s options heading into the new season.

Oliver and Arnold both featured for Ireland in the 2015 World Rugby Under 20 Championship, who were then coached by current Connacht attack coach Nigel Carolan.

Aungier made his Leinster senior debut last November and has gone on to make five appearances for the side in the current Guinness PRO14 season. The prop also impressed at underage level, featuring for the Ireland Under 20s and the Under 18 Clubs squad.

Dowling arrives from the Leinster Rugby Academy having played six times for the senior squad in the past two seasons. The 6’ 5’’ lock has also been capped at Irish Under 20 level.

Commenting on the announcement, Connacht Rugby head coach Andy Friend said all four players can make significant contributions to the squad ahead of the new season.

“In Sammy, Conor, Oisin and Jack we have secured the signings of four very talented and promising young Irish rugby players. They each have unique skillsets which will enhance our squad for next season and beyond, and will allow us to continue to grow as a programme. We’re all looking forward to welcoming them to the Sportsground and integrating them into our playing squad.”

*Pictured above, Jack Aungier in his Leinster Rugby days. The prop is one of a quartet of signings just announced by Connacht Rugby for the 2020/21 season. Photo: Sportsfile

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