Connacht announce number of departuresApril 10, 2012 - 7:00am
Connacht Rugby have announced the departure of a number of players from the squad at the end of the season, but there was also some good news as this year’s captain, Gavin Duffy, has signed a contract extension which will keep his at the Sportsground until 2014.
The province has confirmed that Samoan flanker Ray Ofisa will be leaving the Connacht set-up at the end of this season. The dynamic ball-carrier joined Connacht in 2007, and won his 100th cap for the province against Treviso in December.
He was een part of some of the biggest matches in Connacht’s history including the Heineken Cup match against Toulouse this season, and South Africa’s visit in 2007. He was unfortunate to miss Connacht's clash against his native Samoa when they arrived in the Sportsground in 2010 and he will be fondly remembered by fans as one of the most unassuming gentlemen off the field and one of the clubs greatest competitors on it.
“I'd like to pay tribute to the hard work, commitment and respect that Ray has shown throughout his six years here at Connacht,” said Head Coach, Eric Elwood.
“He is one of the quietest men in the squad, but once he crosses the whitewash he can turn a match in a flash with a moment of brilliance. In his time here he has really bought into the ethos of everything we are about and I know Ray considers Connacht a family away from home.
“It’s a credit to the man and his strength of character that even now he is finishing the season on a high and on behalf of myself, the management, the players and all our supporters I would like to wish Ray every success for the future,” Elwood said.
In addition to Ofisa’s departure, Connacht has announced that Henry Fa’afili, Dermot Murphy, Dylan Rogers, Jamie Stephens and Brian Tuohy have not been offered contracts for the 2012/13 season.
“Following discussions with Head Coach Eric Elwood and his coaching team it was decided that these players would not be offered contracts for next season. On behalf of all at Connacht Rugby I would like to wish them all the very best of luck in their future careers and thank them for their professionalism and commitment whilst they were at the club,” said Connacht manager, Tim Allnutt.
For more, read this week's Connacht Sentinel.