Thursday 18 January 2018

Connacht land ex-Leinster lock Thornbury

Former Leinster player Gavin Thornbury. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Leinster player Gavin Thornbury. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Connacht have boosted their second-row options ahead of next season with the signing of former Leinster player Gavin Thornbury.

The 23-year-old lock who stands at 6ft 7in, came through the Leinster Academy but his first season as a professional was blighted by injury.

Since he left Leinster last year, the former Blackrock College student who played six times for the Ireland U-20s, moved to New Zealand where he got his career back on track.

The move to the North Island where Thornbury enjoyed plenty of success with Border before earning a place in the Wanganui provincial team, initially came about when Leinster's former defence coach Kurt McQuilkin offered him a second chance in his home country.

It was an opportunity that Thornbury seized with both hands and, as a result, got the move back to Ireland he so desperately craved.

Thornbury has penned a two-year contract with Connacht who have been monitoring him for some time and he will link up with the westerners in the summer as incoming head coach Kieran Keane looks to put his stamp on the province.

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to play with Connacht," Thornbury said.

"The exciting brand of rugby is hugely attractive and I hope to build on my experience to date - particularly from New Zealand. I look forward to making a positive contribution to the club's continued success over the next few years."

Meanwhile, Thornbury's former club Leinster have had their Guinness PRO12 semi-final confirmed for Friday May 19 with a 7.45 kick off time.

The following day, either Munster or Scarlets will play at home in the second semi-final at 6.15.

If results go their way this weekend, Munster can ensure that they will play their last four clash at Thomond Park.

Irish Independent

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