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Double signing for Connacht

Connacht coach Eric Elwood has carried out a raid on underage talent in Wales and nailed down two new utility backs for next season -- both of whom are Irish qualified.

Matthew Jarvis (20), who can play out-half, centre or full-back, will join from the Ospreys. Jarvis has played U-18 and U-20 for Wales but the Neath-born player is Irish qualified as his grandmother is from Cork.

James Loxton will also be heading to the Sportsground next summer after signing from Cardiff Blues. The 21-year-old has also been capped at U-18 and U-20 for Wales. He was born in Berlin but his mother is from Crossmolina. He can play on either wing or at full-back.

"They are two very promising players. We have been keeping an eye on them since my time with the Irish U-20s and we think they can do a good job for us," said Elwood.

Connacht CEO Gerry Kelly said he was hopeful they would follow in the footsteps of the likes of Mike McCarthy and Michael Swift who came from the UK and made a big contribution to Connacht.

"We are happy to be bringing Irish qualified players into Connacht and hopefully they can progress to the national set-up in the future," said Kelly.

Irish Independent