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Published: 14:39 | 7/6/16

Connacht trio sign new deals

Boost for coach Pat Lam

JP Cooney, Shane O'Leary and Danny Qualter have all signed new deals and are set to stay with Connacht for another season.

The three senior squad players all played important roles in securing a first ever Guinness PRO12 title for the province this season and their retention will help coach Pat Lam prepare for the defence of their crown.

The province has also been further boosted by news that back-row forward Rory Moloney has been promoted from the academy to join the senior ranks.

All three senior players featured in a number of games this season across both the Guinness Pro12 and the European Challenge Cup with Cooney and O'Leary named in the match day 23 for last week's final in Edinburgh.

26-year-old prop Cooney, who was named in the matchday squad for the PRO12 final against Leinster, made eight appearances in all last season after a shoulder injury ruled him out for four months early in the campaign.

Lock forward Qualter made six appearances after making his debut against Newcastle Falcons in the Challenge Cup, while O'Leary enjoyed a strong finish to the season after injuries saw him promoted to the first team.

The out-half, who can also play in the centre, kicked 31 points in eight games in the green.

Meanwhile, openside flanker Moloney, a former Ireland U-19s captain, will increase competition in the back row.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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