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Published: 14:54 | 7/3/16

Heffernan pens Connacht extension

Dave Heffernan has agreed a new contract with Connacht while the province has confirmed the signing of Conor Carey.

A graduate of the Connacht Academy, Heffernan made his senior debut for the province in March 2012 against the Scarlets and he made his 50th appearance in the bonus point win over Edinburgh last Friday.

The 25-year-old was part of the Emerging Ireland squad for last summer's tour to Tbilisi.

"It's a really exciting time to be playing at Connacht and as someone from here, I'm delighted to be playing my part into the future," he said of his news deal.

"It's my third season with the senior squad and I'm getting good game time under my belt just now and really enjoying my rugby. It was a nice achievement to get my 50th cap last week and even better to mark it with a good win for the team."

Heffernan will be joined at the Sportsground next season by Carey, who is currently playing with English Championship side Nottingham.

"Having spoken to Pat (Lam) and the management team at Connacht Rugby, I'm really excited about moving back to Ireland and playing with a team that have had been really impressive in what they have done over the past few seasons on and off the pitch," Carey said.

"Connacht have some quality props in their squad, including an Irish international tighthead in Nathan White, so I'm really looking forward to working with them as well as the coaches.

"I've really enjoyed my time at Nottingham and would like to thank all the coaches I've worked with, particularly Martin Haag and Neil Fowkes who I've learnt a great deal from. I'm looking forward to finishing out the season strongly with the team."

Commenting on the new deals, Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: "We identified Conor Carey as a young and talented tighthead prop who could thrive here at the Sportsground. He has a gained lot of experience in the Championship which is a tough competition for forwards, but he's coming back to Ireland and we're looking forward to him adding more competition to our front row options.

"Dave has had another season of huge growth, particularly coming off the back of his involvement with the Emerging Ireland squad in the summer. The time he puts into working on and improving his game is impressive and as coaches we're delighted to have him commit his future to his home province."

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