Sport Rugby

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Connacht make another Super XV signing with capture of Blues hooker

Published 17/04/2014 | 11:04

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Tom McCartney in action for the Blues
Tom McCartney in action for the Blues

Connacht have again dipped into the Super XV market with the signing of New Zealand born hooker Tom McCartney of The Blues.

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The 28 year-old hooker has made 64 appearances in the Super XV since making his debut in 2008 and has penned a three-year deal at the Sportsground.

A versatile performer in the front row, last season McCartney played in the number 1 jersey in the absence of All Black Tony Woodcock, but has transitioned back to hooker with the Blues this year.

McCartney will again link up with Pat Lam after the Connacht coach gave the Kiwi his first provincial start for Auckland in 2007 and is looking forward to his move to Ireland.

“After talking with Pat Lam, I'm really excited about the move up to Connacht to help achieve their vision,” he said.

“He gave me my first start for Auckland back in 2007 and really, I owe a lot of my career achievements to him from those early days.

“I believe Galway is a fantastic city and both myself and my fiancée Taryn, whose grandfather is from County Cork, are really looking forward to settling in over there.”

Head coach Pat Lam says the signing of McCartney will greatly enhance the strength in depth of the squad.

“Hooker was a key area that we had to target for recruitment,” the New Zealander said.

“There is clearly a shortage for all Irish clubs in this specialised position but especially at Connacht where this year.

“Tom was high on our priority list and the coaching staff are excited about bringing in such an experienced hooker and he is extremely hard working and respected by all the players and coaches around him.”

McCartney will move to Connacht at the conclusion of the New Zealand ITM Cup season.

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