Wednesday 13 November 2019

White, Loughney and Bealham all sign new deals with Connacht

Nathan White has signed a new two-year deal with Connacht
Nathan White has signed a new two-year deal with Connacht

Connacht have secured two-year deals for Nathan White, Ronan Loughney and Finlay Bealham.

Thirty-three-year-old White is qualified to play for Ireland and was involved with the international squad in November but was unfortunate to miss out on a first cap after injuring his elbow in training.

After 10 weeks of rehab, the New Zealander is now fit and available for Connacht's upcoming Challenge Cup game with La Rochelle on Saturday.

Galway-born Ronan Loughney also put pen to paper this week on a new deal with his native province.

The 30-year-old has focused his attention on the loosehead position this season and has featured in 11 out of 18 games for the club.

Australian-born prop Finlay Bealham, whose grandmother is from Enniskillen, spent two years in the Connacht Academy before graduating to the senior squad last year. The front row forward who has played on both sides of the scrum, came to Ireland in 2010 and went on to represent Ireland U20s in the 2011 Six Nations Championship and the U20 World Championship, earning four caps in all.

Connacht coach Pat Lam said: "From a rugby perspective, having quality props and depth in your front row is vital for any squad.

"To secure the services of these three Irish qualified players as well as Denis (Buckley) and Rodney (Ah You) is fantastic. Both Nathan (White) and Ronan (Loughney) bring huge experience to the role.

"They are both key members of our leadership group and do a lot of work behind the scenes in terms of driving standards across the squad.

"As well as that, their knowledge helps us to bring through the next crop of props through our academy structures and both Denis (Buckley) and Finlay (Bealham) are an example of that. Finlay is someone who has made huge gains over the last two seasons as a tighthead and a prospect whom we are all really exciting about."

White is desperate to get himself back to full fitness after missing the last two months through injury.

"It's great to have the next two seasons sorted and I'm delighted to have signed with Connacht. The three seasons here has really flown by.

"My young family are well settled in Galway and I'm really enjoying it myself, both personally and professionally.

"It was tough being out injured for the last two months but I've worked really hard to come back fully fit and I can't wait to get back playing again."

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