Connacht quartet sign contract extensions
Last Updated: January 9, 2013 3:16pm
New deal: George Naoupu
Connacht have confirmed that George Naoupu, Jason Harris-Wright, Mick Kearney and Eoin McKeon have signed new contracts until the end of 2014/15.
Naoupu's contract news is a huge boost to the club and the forward pack. New Zealand-born Naoupu arrived at the start of the 2009/10 season, having come from Super 14 side the Highlanders.
He made a big impression with Connacht fans when his second-half try sealed victory over Bourgoin to send the Irish side through to the 2009 Amlin Cup semi-final. The 112kg forward then moved to the Kobe Steelers in Japan where he spent one season before returning to Ireland.
With 44 Connacht caps, 30-year-old Naoupu has played in 12 games this season, and registered tries against Zebre, Leinster and the Dragons. Director of Rugby, Eric Elwood has spoken about the big forward, citing his trademark physicality and ball carrying abilities.
"George is a strong and natural leader in our team. He is a phenomenal ball carrier and shows an exceptionally high work rate game after game. His has a brilliant ability to switch from back row to lock seamlessly," he told Connacht's official website on Wednesday.
Naoupu was awarded the Player of the Month award for September 2012. His two-year contract extension has been offered with the option to extend to a third year.
Young forwards Harris-Wright, Kearney and McKeon have also signed two-year extensions.