Connacht have added a third overseas player to their squad for next season with the recruitment of South African Shayne Bolton.
Bolton, who is Irish-qualified through his grandmother, becomes the third overseas player recruited for next season, joining Australian Mack Hansen, whose mother is Cork born, and Tongan lock Leva Fifita.
Bolton, a 20-year-old centre, will arrive at Connacht with a reputation as one of the brightest young prospects in South African rugby. He represents the University of Free State in the Varsity Cup and plays in the U21 SA Championship.
Connacht coach Andy Friend describes Bolton as a powerful and skillful ball carrier, who can play anywhere across the back three.
“After we learned of Shayne’s availability and his Irish ancestry, we kept an eye on his progression and did some further work to confirm his playing ability. It quickly became apparent that he was the type of player that could add real value to our squad.
"While he’s still only 20-years of age, he has all the attributes to become a top class professional player. Players with versatility are a key component we look for in our squad, and Shayne fits that category perfectly"
Tom Daly and Beibhinn Parsons
Tom Daly, a new addition to the Ireland squad announced this week, has b
een nominated for the 2021 Zurich Men's Player' Player of the Year Award. He joins former Connacht player Robbie Henshaw as Leinster's nomination, in addition to Ulster's Iain Henderson and Munster's Tadhg Beirne.
And no surprises Beibhinn Parsons has been nominated for the women's award, along with Eimear Considine, Stacey Flood and Dorothy Wall.
Connacht's Sevens exponent Jordan Conroy is named in Ireland's squad for this weekend's final qualification tournament for Olympic qualification.
Conroy, who was last season’s World Series top try-scorer, is a vital player for Ireland's hopes when they face some big players from Samoa, Tonga, Zimbabwe and Mexico in pool A. Pool B comprises France, Hong Kong, Chile, Uganda and Jamaica.
The top two teams progress to the knockout stages with the winner claiming the prized last place. Ireland kick off their campaign against Zimbabwe (8.50am Irish time ) on Saturday, before facing Mexico (11.12am ) and Tonga (2.24pm ). On Sunday, they are up against Samoa (12.17pm ).