Friday 23 August 2019

Kiwi set to follow Aki and Dillane and commit future to Connacht

Connacht's Tom McCartney. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Connacht's Tom McCartney. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Connacht hooker Tom McCartney is set to follow Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane in committing his future to the province.

The New Zealander, who qualifies to play for Ireland in November, is poised to sign a new three-year contract with the Guinness Pro12 champions.

McCartney (31) has been a key leader since Pat Lam recruited him from Auckland in 2014 and is likely to become an integral part of Joe Schmidt's Ireland set-up once he fulfils the three-year residency requirements.

Brought in alongside Aki, he has been a less heralded part of the revolution in the west but his influence has been hailed by Lam and his team-mates.

The province are also hoping to convince John Muldoon to continue beyond the end of the season, with the 34-year-old believed to be contemplating retirement after a record-breaking career in green.

While recruiting a new coach is top of chief executive Willie Ruane's list of priorities, he is also battling to retain the services of prop Denis Buckley, who has attracted interest from England, and out-half Jack Carty, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

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