Connacht Rugby’s season has been given a massive boost with four players committing their futures to the club.
Centre Kyle Tonetti, lock Dave Gannon and scrum-halves Paul O'Donohoe and Dave Moore have all agreed contract extensions that will see them stay at the Sportsground into next season and beyond. Tonetti and O'Donohoe have signed up for another two years while Gannon and Moore have penned one year extensions.
Their commitment has come as a timely boost ahead of Connacht's inter-provincial clash with Munster this Saturday and for Head Coach Eric Elwood the pieces of the jigsaw continue to fall into place as he puts his squad together for next season.
Speaking about the signings Eric Elwood said:
"Competition for the scrum-half jersey has been fierce this season and that has brought out the best in the players so it's great to have Paul and Dave Moore, along with Frank Murphy, competing in that position. Kyle has been outstanding for us in the centre in both attack and defence and Dave Gannon provides us with a range of options in the forwards, he has really shown his versatility playing in both the second-row and back-row so we're delighted to have him on board as well."
Paul and Kyle both played for Eric Elwood's U20 6Nations Grand Slam winning Ireland side in 2007 and have been ever present in the squad this season.
Tonetti joined the Sale Sharks from Leinster in 2010 and the former Blackrock College centre earned 14 Aviva Premiership caps before moving West in November of last year. Known for his hard running lines and blistering turn of pace the powerful centre is as comfortable playing 12 or 13 and has won a number of in-house plaudits, including Player of the Month, for his exceptional work-rate across the field.
Arriving last Summer from Leinster 24 year old O'Donohoe was capped 16 times in the league and twice in the Heineken Cup by the European champions before hooking up with former Ireland U20 Coach Eric Elwood again. Alongside winning the Leinster League Cup with Clontarf the lightening quick number nine has been a highly consistent performer for Connacht this season.
Speaking about the deal Kyle said:
"I'm delighted to commit to Connacht, the club is going from strength to strength and it is an exciting place to be at the moment. I'm happy to concentrate on the rugby now and having that bit of security is great. The work Eric and the management team are doing at the moment will mean we have a more settled side next season and I'm delighted to be a part of that."
"I'm really happy to be staying at Connacht, it's been great to get the opportunity of regular game-time here and I will keep pushing for that starting spot. The next two years are going to be very exciting for Connacht Rugby and it's great to know I'll be involved for them."