CONNACHT RUGBY look to bring young blood to the folds of Galway by sigining 2 promising young players. 20 year old Matthew Jarvis has been signed from the Ospreys and is set to join Connacht next season. Jarvis, who can play at 10, 12 or 15, has been capped by Wales at U18 and was the vice-captain of the Welsh U20 side that faced England last February. The 1.93m, 91kg Neath born flyer qualifies to play for Ireland as his grand-mother hails from Cork.
Jarvis: “I am very excited at moving to Ireland and playing for Connacht. Connacht have a long history of developing exciting young talent who have gone forward to play for the National team. I am also looking forward to working with and learning from Eric Elwood, he was a great 10 for both Connacht and Ireland and if I can’t learn and develop from Eric then I’m in the wrong job. My grandmother was born in Cork, I have always considered myself as 50% Irish, this has now presented me with an exciting opportunity to play in Ireland and hopefully one day for Ireland”
James Loxton will also join Connacht for next season. The 1.75m 84kg utility back can play at wing or fullback. Loxton, who was born in Berlin, qualifies to play for Ireland as his mother is from Crossmolina, Co. Mayo. The 21 year old has been capped by Wales at U18 and U20 level having featured for Wales during their 2009 Junior World Cup series in Japan and has been signed from the Cardiff Blues.
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Loxton: “I have really enjoyed my time with Cardiff Blues but once I was presented with the opportunity to play for Connacht in Ireland, it was one I couldn’t refuse. Connacht have big plans for the future and I want to be part of that vision. They play and open, expansive and exciting brand of rugby which will suit my game as a wing / full back. I would like to thank the Blues for developing me from a junior International to Regional player and I look forward to continuing that progress in Ireland. My mother was born in Crossmolina, County Mayo, I go on holiday there every summer and I’m delighted at the prospect of playing Professional Rugby where my ancestors were born and bred.”
Connacht’s CEO, Gerry Kelly, spoke about signing the 2 players: “We are delighted to announce the signing of these 2 very promising young players. They have both shown they are ready to make the next step in their careers having featured for Wales at youth level and their respective clubs. We have always said that we are willing to give players an opportunity to show their skills here at Connacht and we hope that they can go on and follow in the footsteps of long-serving Exiles such as Adrian Flavin, Mike McCarthy and Michael Swift. They are 2 very exciting young players and we are confident they will fit comfortably into our squad. We are also very happy to be bringing Irish qualified players into Connacht and hopefully they can progress to the National set-up in the future.”