Guinness PRO12 11/4/2015 Connacht vs Ulster Connacht's Eoghan Masterson and Wiahahn Herbst of Ulster Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Connacht Rugby have announced that back row Eoghan Masterson has signed a two-year extension to his contract to take him up to the end of the 2019-20 season.  

The 24-year-old has made almost 60 appearances for the province including 22 this season. Masterson also captained Connacht for the first time in the Challenge Cup clash at home to Worcester Warriors earlier in October.

“We are delighted that Eoghan has committed to Connacht for another two seasons,” said Connacht coach Kieran Keane to the club’s official website.  “Eoghan is a determined young man who has come through the Connacht Academy system and is now a natural leader among the group.

“I have no doubt he will continue to be an important player for us in the years ahead.”

“I’m absolutely delighted to extend my contract with Connacht,” added Masterson.  “I am very proud of my connections with the west of Ireland and very grateful to have come through the academy system in Connacht.

“It was a massive honour to Captain the province on a number of occasions this season and I am determined to be part of further success here in the coming seasons.”

The news comes just one day after Robin Copeland joined the province and will arrive at the end of the season. Copeland has made over 60 appearances for Munster during four seasons with the club and previously played over 50 times with the Cardiff Blues. He will join Connacht on a two year contract.

At international level, Copeland was capped for the Irish Senior International side when he made his debut against Georgia in November 2014. The back row has also represented the Irish Wolfhounds and Emerging Ireland sides.

“I have really enjoyed my four seasons with Munster and I would really like to thank everyone for my time there,” said Copeland to the Connacht Rugby website.  “I am now looking forward to the next challenge and an exciting future with Connacht.

“I have been really impressed with what has been achieved in Connacht and I am determined to be part of further success there. The club is well known for the importance it places on community and I look forward to representing them when I join up with the squad next season.”

Connacht’s next match in the Guinness PRO14 is against Edinburgh on Friday, March 23rd.  Kick-off in the Sportsground is at 7.35pm.