Connacht sign New Zealand-born back row on three-year deal

Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of 25-year-old back-row Jarrad Butler on a three-year deal.

The back-row, who can cover as an open side, blindside and Number 8, will join the Westerners from Super Rugby franchise the Brumbies where he won the Player of the Year award in 2014.

Born in Wellington, Butler moved to Australia at 13 and has represented the Wallabies at Schoolboys, U19s and U20s.

Butler said he was excited to be joining the province and speaking via the Connacht website said:

"I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity to join Connacht.

"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Brumbies, however this new set of challenges on the other side of the world is something that I can’t wait to embrace.

"I look forward to being part of this proud club, meeting the supportive fans and community, and most importantly doing everything I can to help Connacht be successful."

CEO Willie Ruane added:

"We are delighted to be signing someone of Jarrad’s rugby ability and believe he will be a big addition to our squad.

"As a back-rower who is equally adept in all three positions, he brings a huge amount of versatility to the team. He is an extremely talented player who has been on the Wallabies’ radar for some time.

"At a young age, Jarrad has already gained a great deal of experience as a leader in a highly professional environment and we look forward to welcoming him to Connacht Rugby at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season."

Butler will be among a number of new faces in the Connacht senior squad this summer following the arrivals of scrum-half James Mitchell, prop Peter McCabe and second row Gavin Thornbury along with Academy graduates Conor McKeon (scrum-half), Cormac Brennan (utility back) and Pat O’Toole (hooker).

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