Thursday 29 September 2016

Connacht nail down contract extension for promising ex-Leinster scrum-half

Published 09/03/2016 | 11:58

John Cooney
John Cooney

For once, it is the Connacht negotiators who got one over on their provincial rivals.

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Scrum-half John Cooney has established himself as a capable Pro12 scrum-half in his two seasons with Connacht and his solid displays when backing up Kieran Marmion have seen him rewarded with a new contract.

Cooney joined the westerners from Leinster on loan for the 2014/15 season before signing a full-time deal for this campaign. Comments made by Cooney would indicate that it is a one-year extension.

"Although it's been a frustrating few months with my injury, I'm really happy to have my future secured with Connacht for next season," Cooney said.

"I was really enjoying my rugby at the start of the season and I'm looking forward to pushing on now following my rehab. I am determined to push for a place in the team for what will be some really tough games and an exciting finish to the season."

Cooney has proved to be an effective sniping threat for Connacht, scoring four tries in 19 games for the province. This season was disrupted by shoulder surgery back in November but the 25-year-old is expected to return to fitness in the coming weeks.

With Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss' careers winding down, it wouldn't have been a massive surprise for Cooney to return to his home province and battle Lukle McGrath for the number nine shirt.

However, Leinster have talked openly about being in the market for an international scrum-half so it is no surprise that Cooney felt he would be better off to continue his development under Pat Lam at the Sportsgrounds.

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