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Connacht sign four players from Munster and Leinster, as Roman Salanoa heads to Thomond


Roman Salanoa joined Munster from Leinster. Photo: Sportsfile

Roman Salanoa joined Munster from Leinster. Photo: Sportsfile

Roman Salanoa joined Munster from Leinster. Photo: Sportsfile

It's been a busy day of player movement in Irish rugby, with Connacht confirming the signing of Munster pair Sammy Arnold and Conor Oliver as well as Leinster props Jack Aungier and Oising Dowling.

The players will join Connacht on July 1, meaning that even if the end of the 2019/20 season is played the squads will look quite different.

Munster, meanwhile, have confirmed the signing of Leinster tighthead Roman Salanoa on a two-year deal.

The highly-rated Hawaiian will become Irish-qualified later this year and will bolster Johann van Graan's options at tighthead prop.

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Arnold, meanwhile, joins a small club of players to play for three of the four provinces and he'll be hoping to get a regular run of things at Connacht after signing on until 2022.

The powerful centre joined Munster from Ulster and played 44 times for the province, impressing in some big European games. However, he fell out of favour with van Graan this season and has decided to try his luck at The Sportsground.

"My decision not to stay on at Munster was an incredibly tough decision but ultimately I believe the correct one," the one-cap Ireland international wrote on Twitter.

"It's been a pleasure to play for Munster and I'd like to thank all involved with the organisation to any capacity. I've made some incredible memories with some of the best friends... days I'll never forget.

"I am hugely excited to be joining Connacht next season. From sitting down with Andy (Friend) and Nigel (Carolan) it immediately became clear the direction they want to take the club in. I am massively excited about what the present and future holds in the west."

Friend was delighted to land all four players.

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"In Sammy, Conor, Oisin and Jack we have secured the signings of four very talented and promising young Irish rugby players," the Connacht coach said.

"They each have unique skillsets which will enhance our squad for next season and beyond, and will allow us to continue to grow as a program. We’re all looking forward to welcoming them to The Sportsground and integrating them into our playing squad.”

Van Graan wished Arnold and flanker Oliver well, while welcoming Salanoa to Thomond Park.

"I would like to thank Conor and Sammy for everything they have done for Munster Rugby," the South African said.

"As two young hugely talented players they both have very bright futures ahead and we wish them every success.

"We are delighted to add to our tighthead options with the signing of Roman. He is an exciting prospect and we look forward to welcoming him to the province."

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