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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 24 July, 2014

Connacht lose centre Eoin Griffin as he is lured to London Irish

The centre had been tipped for a summer move to Munster but is heading to the Premiership.

Connacht's Eoin Griffin and Cornell du Preez of Edinburgh.
Connacht's Eoin Griffin and Cornell du Preez of Edinburgh.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

LONDON IRISH HAVE followed through on their commitment to attract more Ireland-qualified players by snatching Eoin Griffin from Connacht.

The 23-year-old from Galway will join Brian Smith’s men next season after agreeing a long-term deal with the Premiership outfit. The move will come as a major blow to the province, and coach Pat Lam who is trying to build a deep playing pool of indigenous talent.

Griffin has formed a solid centre partnership with Dave McSharry in recent years, featuring more often as an outside centre but able to comfortably fill the 12 jersey. He had been linked with a switch to Munster earlier in the season but has been attracted to London by the terms put to him by the Exiles.

Griffin will face competition for a starting place in the London Irish side by former Leinster player Eamonn Sheridan and Ireland-qualified inside centre Fergus Mulchrone. The acquisition of Griffin follows the Exiles capture of Ulster prop Tom Court, which was announced earlier in the season.

The Premiership side also have Jamie Hagan, Ian Humphreys and Tomás O’Leary on their books.

Brian O’Driscoll sits out Ireland training with bug, must prove fitness on Thursday

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