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Published: 10:46 | 19/8/16

New Connacht deal for Bealham

Ireland international Finlay Bealham has agreed a new contract with Connacht and the IRFU.

Bealham earned a contract with the Connacht Academy following his performances with the Ireland U20's in the 2011 Six Nations and Junior World Championship and went on to make his PRO12 debut for the province when he was introduced from the bench in February 2014.

He signed his first senior contract ahead of the 2014-15 season and since then has made 57 appearances for the provinces, playing a big role as Connacht won the Guinness PRO12 title last season.

The 24-year-old won his first cap for Ireland during the RBS 6 Nations championship earlier this year and he has now put pen to paper on a new deal that will see him remain at the Sportsground until the summer of 2019.

"It was a fairly straightforward decision for me to sign on with Connacht. This place has become home for me over the last five years and I'm loving my rugby here," Bealham said.

"It's been a great few years, with last season an obvious stand out. Pulling on the Ireland jersey in the same season as winning the Guinness PRO12 with my team mates will live long in the memory.

"I can't wait to get back into it now in a few weeks' time and I'm confident we can go on to achieve more and more as a team."

Head coach Pat Lam added: "Finlay is coming off the back of a very successful season with both Ireland and Connacht and I'm very pleased for us and our supporters that he will be with us for the next three seasons.

"From day one, I've been impressed with Finlay's attitude and desire to continuously learn on and off the pitch. He is a real team man and extremely popular among our squad.

"As a young, versatile front row player, he has a lot to offer our team as we head into another challenging but exciting campaign in both the Guinness PRO12 and European Champions Cup."

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