Connacht recruit Gavin Thornbury

Ex-Leinster academy player has spent recent times in New Zealand

Gavin Thornbury

Gavin Thornbury ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Connacht have announced the signing of Gavin Thornbury.

The former Leinster Academy second row has signed a two-year deal after spending the past six months with New Zealand club Border.

In his brief time in New Zealand, Thornbury had made enough of an impression for the club to earn the chance to play for the Wanganui provincial side.

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to play with Connacht Rugby," said Thornbury after confirmation of the move.

"The exciting brand of rugby is hugely attractive and I very much hope to build on my experience to date - particularly from New Zealand. I look forward to making a positive contribution to the club’s continued success over the next few years."

Connacht forwards coach Jimmy Duffy added: "We are delighted to be adding Gavin to our squad for next season. He is someone we have been monitoring over the past number of seasons. Gavin is a strong set piece operator, has a huge appetite for work and has shown an eye for scoring opportunities. We are looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the club."

Thornbury has been capped for Ireland at under-20 level, having been named in the squad for the IRB Junior World Championship in 2013.