Connacht Rugby tie up World Cup hopeful on two-year deal 7 years ago

Connacht Rugby tie up World Cup hopeful on two-year deal

The westerners are moving fast to sign up their top, young stars before the Champions Cup-dwelling provinces get any notions

Connacht have announced contract extensions, signed with the IRFU, for Darragh Leader and Denis Buckley. 21-year-old Leader has played fullback for Connacht this season and was included in Ireland's squad for the Guinness Series. The duo have signed up with the province until the summer of 2017.

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While Leader did not feature in any of the three Test matches, he was named 24th man for the win over Georgia. Joe Schmidt praised the Galwegian for the positive impact he had on the squad's training sessions in Maynooth. Leader is handy off the kicking tee and landed this 60m monster while playing for Connacht Eagles last season.

Loose-head prop Buckley has made 58 appearances for the province since he made his debut in 2011. The Roscommon native, as is clearly evidenced below, celebrated his new contract scaling a mountain of scree and rumble to survey the lands he will roam upon for the next two and a half years.

Denis Buckley 14/10/2014

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Connacht head coach Pat Lam says, 'Both Darragh and Denis are key members of the senior squad here and both have the potential to play at the highest level of the game. Darragh's development was rewarded this month with a place in the Ireland squad and I have no doubt that if Denis continues working on his development here that he will reach his goals.'

Both Leader and Buckley will be hoping for starts in Connacht's league clash at home to Scarlets on Saturday evening.