Duffy retires amid Connacht clear-out
Connacht have announced a clear-out of established players with the retirement of stalwart Gavin Duffy confirmed alongside the release of a host of veterans.
Aside from former Ireland full-back Duffy, Frank Murphy, former Scotland out-half Dan Parks, Paul O'Donohoe, Aaron Conneely, Brian Murphy, Dave Nolan and James Rael will not have their contracts renewed.
"It's a tough time of year. In the professional game, no squad is ever the same from one year to the next and there are always a number of players moving on," said head coach Pat Lam.
"These guys have given so much to the club and we have nothing but respect for them and appreciation for what they have done. Guys like Gavin Duffy exemplify what Connacht is all about."
Meanwhile, Chris Ashton, Jonny Wilkinson, Steffon Armitage, Schalk Brits and Jacques Burger have been included in the ERC's final shortlist for their 2014 Player of the Year award.