Kieran Marmion has signed a new deal with Connacht that will keep him at the Sportsground until at least the end of the 2022/23 season.
The Irish International joined the province via the exiles system as a 19-year-old in 2011 and has gone on to play over 160 times for Connacht. He has also featured in the green of Ireland. He debuted off the bench against Argentina in 2014, while his Six Nations debut came against Italy in 2016. He played from the start in Ireland’s win over the All-Black in November 2018.
After Marmion wasn’t picked for the World Cup squad there had been speculation that he could leave the province, with Saracens being touted as a possible destination. His father Mick having previously played for the current Champions Cup holders.
The news of Kieran Marmion signing comes as a boost to Andy Friend’s side. Tiernan O’Halloran, Sean O’Brien, Tom Farrell and Jarrad Butler have already signed new contracts this month. While star player Bundee Aki is currently in contract renewal negotiations with Connacht.
At this mornings press conference at the Sportsground, head coach Andy Friend said “It’s a really important signing for us”, “To know he’s going to be around for another three years is great news”. When questioned about the competition for the scrum-half slot between Marmion and Caolin Blade – who gave a man of the match display in Sunday’s win over Montpellier – Friend stated: “We’re in a healthy spot, that’s one position where we have great competition. Certainly with Caolin and Kieran there you’ve got two quality nines. At the moment we also have Stephen Keirns, a young Sligo boy, who did well in the Leinster game when he came on and Angus Llyod who’s waiting for his opportunity too. So we’ve got real good depth there”.
In more good news for Connacht, their lengthy injury which featured 16 players unavailable for last Sunday’s game has significantly shortened. Finlay Bealham, Shane Delahunt, Quinn Roux, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy and Stephen Fitzgerald have all returned to training this week and could feature against Toulouse on Saturday. Their only fresh concern from Sunday’s game is Darragh Leader who has been ruled out of this weekend’s action.