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New Connacht signing Joe Joyce ‘very excited about opportunity to represent Irish roots and family name’

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Jack Carty of Connacht is tackled by new teammate Joe Joyce during a previous pre-season friendly match between Connacht and Bristol at the Sportsground. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Jack Carty of Connacht is tackled by new teammate Joe Joyce during a previous pre-season friendly match between Connacht and Bristol at the Sportsground. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Jack Carty of Connacht is tackled by new teammate Joe Joyce during a previous pre-season friendly match between Connacht and Bristol at the Sportsground. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Connacht have bolstered their lock stocks ahead of next season with the signing of Irish-qualified second-row Joe Joyce from Bristol.

The 28-year-old, who played for the Ireland U-20s in 2014, has just completed his 11th season with his hometown club, Bristol, where he has long been a stalwart.

Joyce played over 150 games for Bristol and helped Pat Lam's men to win the Challenge Cup in 2020.

He will help offset the loss of Ultan Dillane, who is set to join Ronan O'Gara's Champions Cup winners La Rochelle.

Joyce's grandparents hail from Clonbur Co. Galway, and he is relishing the chance to represent his Irish roots with Connacht.

"After many years representing my hometown club I’m very excited about the opportunity to represent my Irish roots and my family name,” Joyce said.

“I’ve been to the West of Ireland and The Sportsground on many occasions to visit family and as a supporter, and I can’t wait to make an impact on and off the field in the province as a Connacht player and make my family proud.

“After speaking to the coaches, Tim (Allnutt) and Willie (Ruane) I’m very excited about the future of Connacht Rugby and can’t wait to be a part of it."

Connacht head coach Andy Friend added:

“We are thrilled Joe has chosen to join the club for the start of the 2023/24 season. Whilst we know his arrival is still 12 months away, we are already excited by the prospect of what he will bring to Connacht Rugby and his signing represents a key addition to the squad we are looking to build.

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“Joe is a big physical lock, with excellent athletic and footballing ability and so he is a great fit for how we want to play.

“Off the pitch Joe is also the type of player who understands the importance of community and I have no doubt he will make a positive impact in that area, something we as a club place a significant value on."


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