Connacht backs’ coach Nigel Carolan says Australian international Kyle Godwin is the first of a number of big signings for the province.
Connacht host Edinburgh in the PRO14 this weekend and have been boosted by the imminent arrival of the 25-year-old Brumbies centre.
Godwin, who can play from out-half through to full-back, was capped by Australia against France in November 2010, and Carolan predicts big things for the new man who arrives at the end of the current Super Rugby campaign.
“We hope he will make a similar impact as Bundee [Aki] did. He is a different type of player. He has played right across the backline and has a wider skillset. They will complement each other very well,” said Carolan.
“He is on the team sheet with the Brumbies every week. He is a quality player and is excited to be coming here as well. He is excited about how we are trying to play the game, where we are going and the quality of players we have. And he is hoping to add to that.
“We have some exciting signings to be announced in the next couple weeks as well. It is really exciting for us in Connacht to be able to attract a player of Kyle’s calibre.
“We anticipate that the IRFU will manage Bundee a little bit more carefully now and protect his minutes. So we need to make sure that we have got adequate cover left behind in his absence.”
Connacht second row Andrew Browne has returned to training, along with tighthead prop Conor Carey. However, winger Cian Kelleher might not play again in 2017-18 after he picked up an ankle injury in the 26-25 defeat to Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Connacht will also have to do without Ireland internationals Aki, Kieran Marmion and Ultan Dillane this weekend but lock Quinn Roux has made his available for the game.
Carolan said that the return of Aki after his Grand Slam heroics will be a big boost as they look for a big finish to the season.
“When you look at the player ratings after the game. Bundee is not one of the guys who looks for the gloss. He makes other players look good,” added Carolan.
“He had his line-break the last day but he made CJ Stander look good because of the way he finished off that pass. The work he is doing off the ball it’s a lot of unseen work. It goes unappreciated and I don’t think he gets the plaudits he deserves.”
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