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Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht have signed Irish qualified back Josh Rowland.
New Zealand-born Rowland qualifies for Ireland through his grandmother, who is from Dublin, and the 27-year-old has been in Ireland since April training and playing with the Ireland Sevens.
He played on the same Counties Manukau side as Bundee Aki in 2012 before being picked up by North Harbour and he will join up with Connacht later this month.
"I am delighted to have been given this opportunity by Connacht Rugby. Training and playing in Ireland the last few months has been fantastic and I've really enjoyed getting to know the players in the sevens set up," Rowland said.
"I've been playing both 15's and sevens rugby all my life and I love the challenge of both. I feel I'm in a good place fitness-wise after an intense few weeks with the sevens so I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running at Connacht and putting in some good pre-season work. It's a huge opportunity for me as a player and I want to make the most of it and do what I can for the team."
Head coach Pat Lam is pleased to have added to his back line as Connacht prepare for a busy campaign.
"We became aware of Josh's availability as an Irish qualified player through his involvement with the Ireland sevens programme earlier this year," Lam commented. "He has had a good few months with the sevens set up and we're looking forward to seeing what he can add to our back three options at Connacht as we prepare for a huge season ahead in both the PRO12 and Champions Cup."