NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby Extend Partnership to 2019


NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby have announced an extension of their partnership until 2019. NUI Galway became Connacht’s Academy and University partner in 2013, and since then 19 Connacht players have, or are about to, graduate from NUI Galway including current senior squad members Denis Buckley, Eoin Griffin, Eoin McKeon, Andrew Browne, Dave Heffernan, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader, Eoghan Masterson, Sean O’Brien and Conor McKeon.

Through the partnership, NUI Galway supports the Connacht Rugby Academy, and Connacht age grade players, particularly through the provision of structured third level education. This year, 18 Connacht players across senior, academy and sub-academy squads are currently studying in NUI Galway in a number of disciplines including Commerce, Leadership, Law, Financial Maths and Economics, Science, Arts, Engineering, Computer Science and IT and Project Management.

As part of the partnership there is also an opportunity for athletes from NUI Galway to benefit from Connacht Rugby’s high level strength and conditioning expertise.

Pictured at the recent Connacht Rugby and NUI Galway partnership announcement (l-r): Gavin Duffy, Connacht Rugby’s Sponsorship Manager; Niyi Adeolokun, Connacht Rugby player; Eric Elwood, Connacht Rugby’s Academy Manager; Sean O’Brien, Connacht Rugby player; Mike Heskin, NUI Galway’s Director of Sport and Physical Activity; and Conan O Donnell, Connacht Rugby player.

Commenting on the extended partnership, NUI Galway’s Director of Sport, Mike Heskin says: “This partnership gives Connacht Rugby players the supports to realise their ambitions on and off the field by combining the student experience with life as an elite sportsperson. Both organisations are focused on excellence, and since the partnership began, Connacht have succeeded in the Pro 12, while NUI Galway has risen to the Top 1% of world universities. As this partnership evolves over the coming years we look forward to developing this culture of success while helping the next generation of leaders to reach their potential on the rugby field and throughout their careers.”

Welcoming the continued partnership, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby, Brian Mahony notes: “We are delighted to be announcing the extension of this key strategic partnership with NUI Galway for a further two years. At Connacht Rugby we want our players to excel both on and off the field. Furthering their education is a key component to their personal development and having the opportunity to further their education in such a prestigious university is of huge importance. The partnership has been a huge success over the past few years and I have no doubt that it will continue to flourish into the future.”




About NUI Galway The University was established in the heart of Galway City, on the west coast of Ireland, in 1845. Since then it has advanced knowledge teaching and learning, through research and innovation, and community engagement.


Over 18,000 students study at NUI Galway, where 2,600 staff provide the very best in research-led education.

NUI Galway’s teaching and research is recognised through its consistent rise in international rankings. The University is placed in the Top 250 of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2017/2018, as well as the QS World University Rankings 2017/18, which places us in the Top 1% worldwide.


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