Connacht extension for Muldoon

Date published: January 7 2016

Connacht and the Irish Rugby Football Union have announced that back-row John Muldoon has signed a new contract for the 2016/17 season.

The Portumna native is currently in his thirteenth season of a professional career at the club and has captained the side for five of those.

Muldoon made his senior debut in 2004 and has since played 260 times for the province, including 58 European games. The highest capped player, both for Connacht and in the PRO12 league, Muldoon has played in eleven of Connacht's fifteen games this season, starting all but one.

The 33-year-old blindside flanker has played for Ireland on three occasions, the last cap coming against New Zealand in June 2010. He was called up to the Irish squad during the 2012 November's Series but the back-rower's campaign was cut short when he was forced off with an injury during the second-half of Ireland XV's non-cap international against Fiji.

"It was very easy for me to sign on with Connacht for another year. I love this place, and I couldn't imagine playing anywhere else now," he said.

"I'm definitely the 'old man' in the squad now that Swifty (Michael Swift) is gone but I don't feel it. Playing and training with these younger lads just drives me on even further and I'm really enjoying what we're doing as a squad.

"Connacht has changed immeasurably since I started out but every year we have been building and I've just loved being a part of it. There have been plenty of highs and lows but those experiences, particularly the lows, just remind me of how far we have come.

"I'm excited about the rest of the season and the next and I believe we can achieve big things for Connacht."

Head coach Pat Lam added: "Not only is John one of the most consistent players in terms of his performances, he is a hugely respected individual as our captain. After so many years, he continues to demand high standards of himself and of everyone around him.

"With the amount of youth we have coming through, you cannot underestimate the importance of his experience and his character when it comes to helping others understand who and what Connacht stands for. He epitomises the 'Connacht man' and is a great example to our younger players about what you can achieve with hard work.

"Personally I am very happy to be working with John again next season."