Irish rugby has broken new ground with the appointment of its first ever female president at provincial level.
Mayo native Ann Heneghan was last night elected Connacht president after an online AGM.
The appointment has been hailed as a hugely progressive step forward for Irish rugby as Heneghan, who has been a key voice behind the scenes at Connacht for many years, caps her own journey to the position of power.
Heneghan, who is from Partry, but now lives in Galway, was initially elected junior vice-president in May 2018 before she became senior vice-president last summer.
She has served in a number of other positions within the province, most notably as chairperson of the Connacht rugby disciplinary committee. She was also chairperson of the Connacht rugby supporters club during the time in which the future of the province was under threat in 2003.
Heneghan, who runs a law firm in Claremorris, was also recently appointed as judicial officer for World Rugby, a role which covers a range of competitions.
Her election as Connacht's new president means that Heneghan will have the distinct honour of holding the position when Connacht marks its 135th anniversary in December.
Commenting on her election, Ann Heneghan said: "It is a great honour to be elected as President of Connacht Rugby.
"Having been involved with the supporters club at a time when the future of Connacht Rugby was in jeopardy, it is particularly pleasing to see how the province has grown and flourished over the intervening years.
"I am particularly looking forward to engaging with all of the volunteers involved in the game across the province. Connacht Rugby's vision of 'Grassroots to Green Shirts' reflects the ambition we have for the game at all levels and I look forward to playing my part on the next stage of that journey.
"While it will be a different type of season, I look forward to bringing my experience from different roles to this position and I relish the opportunity to be involved, at a historic time for Connacht Rugby as we celebrate 135 years of rugby in the province,” she added.
Tadhg Furlong tested out his back in a live scrummaging session at Leinster's UCD base yesterday, and the province hope to have their Lions prop available for selection for Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens.
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Saracens stoked the fire nicely ahead of Saturday's eagerly awaited Champions Cup quarter-final showdown with Leinster, when their assistant coach Alex Sanderson went on television on Sunday and said: "I think we are the only team to beat them in the last couple of years, so maybe there is a seed of doubt in their minds."