CONNACHT RUGBY HAVE announced the signing of Exeter Chiefs lock Aly Muldowney on a three-year contract.
The Stafford-born player made 35 appearances for the English side in the Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup in total, and played in five of their six European encounters this season.
The 29-year-old is Irish-qualified, as his father was born in Newbridge, Co.Kildare, and only started playing rugby nine years ago, after he converted from basketball.
Speaking following the conclusion of the deal, Connacht Chief Executive Tom Sears said:
“Aly is a player we have looked at for some time; our coaching staff have watched him a lot and identified him as one of our key recruitment targets. Pat Lam has also been kept in the loop and is delighted he will have Aly in his squad for next season.
“He is a very physical, ball carrying Irish-qualified lock who gets through an enormous amount of work and we have managed to get him to Connacht ahead of stiff competition from several sides in the Aviva Premiership and elsewhere.
“We are putting a great deal of work into a recruitment for next year and finding a leading Irish-qualified player to bolster our options in the second row was one of the priorities. We are looking to recruit further at lock and other positions and are looking at a number of potential signings before next season.”
And Muldowney added:
“I’m delighted to have signed with Connacht and I’m very much looking forward to joining the club, improving my rugby and adding what I can to the squad. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Chiefs, they are a great club and have a really good squad. Rob (Baxter) and Ali (Hepher) have really helped me improve my game over the last two years.
“I have watched Connacht play in the Heineken Cup this year and they are a really tough side with some great players. We don’t have too many places where we can watch the league, but having played Connacht before whilst at Glasgow I know that they are a tough opposition to come up against. So I’m really looking forward to being a part of that team and adding what I can. It’s an exciting time for the club also, with a new Head Coach coming in.”
It’s further good news for Connacht, after the province yesterday confirmed Michael Swift has signed a one-year contract extension.