Cian Kelleher signs for Connacht from Leinster
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 03/05/16 5:10pm
Connacht announced that they have signed full-back Cian Kelleher from Leinster on a two-year deal.
The 21-year-old, who can also play on the wing and in the midfield, spent two seasons in the Leinster Academy and has seven Guinness PRO12 appearances under his belt - scoring a try against Zebre in February.
The versatile back listed the style of Pat Lam's men as the main attraction in signing for them.
"Having watched the brand of rugby Connacht have been playing, I was really excited by the opportunity Pat presented to me," sad Kelleher.
"I cannot wait to get started down in Galway this summer where I'll have to compete with a very talented and competitive back line for a starting spot.
It's great to have someone with Cian's versatility joining our squad for next season. As a full-back who can also play on the wing and outside centre, his arrival will bring more competition and depth in the backs as we prepare for Champions Cup rugby.
Connacht coach Pat Lam
"I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from Leinster Rugby, Lansdowne RFC and St. Michaels College who have always supported me. I'm extremely grateful to everyone for their time and input along the way."
Kelleher represented Ireland at Under-18, U19 and U20s level, and travelled as part of last summer's Emerging Ireland squad to Georgia, shortly after featuring as a replacement for the Ireland XV side that played the Barbarians at Thomond Park.
Connacht coach Pat Lam said: "It's great to have someone with Cian's versatility joining our squad for next season.
"As a full-back who can also play on the wing and outside centre, his arrival will bring more competition and depth in the backs as we prepare for Champions Cup rugby.
"I was really impressed when I first saw Cian play for Lansdowne and Ireland Under-20s a couple of seasons ago. He showed real x-factor qualities with some of the tries he scored as well those he setup for his team-mates.
"With the way we train and play the game I have no doubt he will be able to showcase his ability on the PRO12 and Champions Cup stage to chase his big goal of representing Ireland."
The announcement comes amid other good news for Connacht, with Lam receiving confirmation that Bundee Aki and Matt Healy are both available for selection this week.
Aki has recovered from the knee injury he picked up against Munster in April, while Healy is back after missing a week of action through a back injury.
Craig Ronaldson will soon make a return to the playing field as he joins full training with the squad this week.