Connacht back-rower Abraham Papali’i has committed to the province after signing a contract extension for the 2021-22 season.
The number eight has made a big impact since his arrival last season, scoring three tries in 11 games and exciting supporters and pundits alike with his strength and strong ball-carrying ability.
Papali’i arrived from Bay of Plenty in New Zealand having predominantly played Rugby League during his career.
“I’ve been really pleased with Abraham’s progression since he joined us,” said Connacht coach Andy Friend.
“He’s had to adapt to the rigours of rugby union as well as an off-field culture change, made no easier by the pandemic, and we are now seeing the fruits of his hard work. His last few performances have been very impressive.”
Conor Dean (shoulder), Matt Healy (head) and Alex Wootton (hip) will return to training this week following their respective injuries as the province prepare to welcome Leinster to Galway.
Paul Boyle (knee) sustained a knee injury in the Ulster game and will be out of action for three weeks.
Jordan Duggan (hand) has had surgery on a hand injury and will be out of action until the end of May.
Jack Aungier (neck), Tom Farrell (knee), Stephen Fitzgerald (knee), Cillian Gallagher (shoulder) Sean O’Brien SNR (head), Tiernan O’Halloran (achilles) and Quinn Roux (neck/shoulder) are all continuing their rehabilitation from long term injuries.