Connacht bolster backline options with loan signing of Leinster’s Daly

CONNACHT HAVE MOVED to reinforce their backline options with the loan signing of centre Tom Daly from Leinster until the end of the current season.

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The 25-year-old, who has endured an injury-hit two years, moves west to join province ahead of the Guinness Pro14 inter-pro meeting between the sides at the RDS on Saturday evening [KO 7.45pm, eir Sport/Premier Sport]. 

Daly training with Connacht training earlier. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Connacht coach Andy Friend was keen to bolster his resources after being hit by a number of injuries, with Craig Ronaldson, Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Peter Robb and Colm De Buitlear all currently sidelined.

The acquisition of former Ireland U20 international Daly is a timely boost for the province, and the short-term deal to move to the Sportsground presents him with an opportunity to get valuable game time under his belt.

Daly, who has been part of the Leinster senior squad since 2016, spent most of last season on the sidelines with a serious knee injury and has made just two appearances off the bench this term having spent further time in the treatment room.

At international level, the Carlow native has played for Ireland at U18, U19 and U20 level and will provide cover in a number of positions for Connacht, while also being a place-kicking option. 

“We are delighted to announce that Tom will now be joining us on a loan deal until the end of the season to bolster our squad,” Friend said.

Daly — who has made just 12 senior appearances for Leinster in three years — will be in competition with Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki and Kyle Godwin in the Connacht midfield, although is unlikely to be available to face his native province this weekend.

Aki, meanwhile, has returned from New Zealand following his wedding and trained with the Connacht squad in Galway this afternoon, as Friend’s side prepare for their trip to Dublin.

The western province — who sit third in Conference B — have won five games on the bounce in all competitions, but have beaten Leinster just once in the capital since 1955.

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