Thursday 29 September 2016

Retiring Swift is a huge loss - Buckley

Daragh Small

Published 22/05/2015 | 02:30

Swift said his goodbyes at an emotional farewell following the 24-20 defeat at home to Ospreys last weekend
Swift said his goodbyes at an emotional farewell following the 24-20 defeat at home to Ospreys last weekend

Connacht prop Denis Buckley said retiring legend Michael Swift will be sorely missed around the Sportsground in the next few seasons after a brilliant 15 years with the province.

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Swift said his goodbyes at an emotional farewell following the 24-20 defeat at home to Ospreys last weekend.

And prop Buckley thinks Swift, who has now played 263 times for the province in the Pro12 and Europe, has left a lasting legacy and is someone who every player can learn something from.

"Swift epitomises what Connacht is and the Connacht community.

"He was a talisman for the last 15 years so there is a lot you can look at and a lot you can learn from," said Roscommon man Buckley.

"We can carry on what he has brought to the club and the people that wear the jersey out of respect for what he has done and that's a big thing I think."

Meanwhile 24-year old loose-head Buckley was honoured by being names as the Connacht Clan Player of the Season award after a stellar campaign.

He partner in the pack, South African second-row Quinn Roux, claimed the Young Player of the Season award.

The former Creggs clubman played every one of Connacht's 22 games in the Pro12 and also featured five times in Europe scoring two tries overall.

He was named on the Pro12 Dream Team and was this week picked to be a part of the Emerging Ireland side who travel to Georgia in June.

"It is nice to get a bit of recognition and to get a bit of recognition and to get a reward at the end of the season, it's a bit of a confidence boost," Buckley said.

Irish Independent

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