Connacht Rugby and the IRFU are delighted to confirm contract extensions for local players Eoin McKeon and Darragh Leader.
Galway-born McKeon made his professional debut away to Scarlets in April 2010 and has since played 105 times for his home province. A graduate of the Connacht Academy, the 25-year-old has represented Ireland at U18, U19 and U20 level. In the summer of 2013, he travelled with the Emerging Ireland squad to Georgia to play in the Tsbili Cup.
A former student of Colaiste Ioganid, McKeon has featured in 20 of Connacht’s 26 games this season, starting in the back row for 14 of those games and touching down for tries against Ospreys and Edinburgh in the Guinness PRO12.
23-year-old Leader from Castlegar, Co. Galway has also put pen to paper on a new deal with his native province. The versatile back three player returns to full training this week having initially recovered from a long-term hand injury and subsequently a minor hamstring issue.
A Connacht Academy graduate, Leader made his senior debut in October 2012 away to Ospreys in the PRO12 and has since played 51 times for the province. Having attended St. Joseph’s College, he played all his club rugby with Galwegians RFC and went on to represent Ireland at Under-19 and U20 level.
Commenting on the latest contract news, Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said:
“The contract extensions of local born players Eoin and Darragh is great news for Connacht Rugby and our supporters. We are really pleased with how are retention plan is taking shape for next season and beyond.
“Eoin is part of a highly competitive forward pack here at Connacht and he is comfortable playing across the back row, as evidenced this season. His agility and athletic ball carrying ability continues to grow game after game.
“While Darragh has been unfortunate with injury over the last year, he has shown his determination and mental hunger to come back from disappointment. While his strength lies at fullback, he has shown his versatility by switching to wing and centre on different occasions. His goal-kicking abilities, especially from long range, have also been called upon in the past. We hope to see him back in a Connacht jersey very soon.”