In spite of their miserable run of defeats, Connacht fans were handed a slice of good news this week with four key players committing their futures to the club.
Experienced back-rowers Johnny O’Connor and John Muldoon have signed one and two-year deals respectively while at the opposite end of the age spectrum Eoin Griffin and Dave McSharry have committed themselves to stay at the Sportsground until at least 2014.
While O’Connor’s season has been somewhat hampered by injury, Muldoon has been in superb form and could be in contention to break into Declan Kidney’s Ireland squad for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
Kidney will have also kept a close eye on the emergence of centres Griffin and McSharry – not a position in which Ireland possess huge strength in depth.
Inevitably the pair’s form has attracted admiring glances from elsewhere but McSharry says there’s no better place for his development than under Eric Elwood.
He said: “The best way to develop for us young lads is playing games and that's what we are getting to do here, I'm delighted.
“I had no hesitation when the contract was put in front of me. I have played in a few huge games now and those games can do wonders for you.
“Playing in those big games is worth ten training sessions. This is what I want to be doing, playing as much as possible.”
Galway-raised Griffin was quick to echo McSharry’s sentiments saying: “Well I'm from here so I'm delighted to be playing for Connacht and with Dave for another two years.
“Hopefully that will go well, we have played together (Ireland U20s) so I'm really happy. Happy out to be here for two years.”