Connacht captain John Muldoon has penned a new contract that will keep him at the province for the 2016/17 season.
The three-times capped blindside flanker is in his 13th professional season at the province. and has played in 11 of their 15 games this season. His last Ireland cap came against New Zealand in June 2010, though he also featured in the Ireland XV’s non-cap international against Fiji in 2012.
“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,” said Muldoon yesterday.
“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.”
Connacht head coach Pat Lam welcomed the retention of his skipper: “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.”
Connacht face Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in the Pro12 on Sunday, looking to bounce back having lost both Christmas derbies.
Scarlets Kiwi Hadleigh Parkes expects a backlash. “They’re an attacking side; they’re playing some good footy this year. It should be a good challenge. I think they’re pretty dangerous across the field,” he said.
“We need to tidy up our discipline. We’re giving away silly penalties but if we get those right we should be right.
“It’s all about putting a good team on the field this weekend and hopefully putting a good performance in for our supporters.
“This game will have a big influence on the remainder of the season too. We need to get a win and get back on track.
“It’s going to be an interesting month, it’s tough to go over to Ireland and win as well. First we have to beat them at home.”
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