Grassroots to Greenshirts

Developing Home Grown Talent Together


Welcome to Connacht Rugby’s crowd funding initiative!

Connacht Rugby is delighted to introduce our new Grassroots to Green Shirts campaign. This crowd funding campaign is unique to Irish sport and will give every Irish rugby fan from around the world the chance to play their part in growing and developing the future stars of Connacht and Irish rugby.

Our vision is simple and our ambition is unrivalled. We want to create the best elite pathway programme in the country to ensure young Connacht rugby players can become the most talented in Europe, represent Ireland and fulfill their professional rugby ambitions whilst living and playing in Connacht. We need your help to build on our success to date.

Our aspiration is to see a system that leads to our players achieving the highest accolades in rugby such as representing the British and Irish Lions. We want young fans around the province to see a Connacht player lead the Irish team out in their famous green shirts at a Rugby World Cup or even lift the Webb Ellis trophy.

These goals and aspirations will be realised by our Elite Player Development staff growing, developing and nurturing Connacht’s rugby talent in tandem with the fine work that is carried out by schools and clubs across the province. Each year, we identify and select 250 age grade players to partake in development camps and represent Connacht in various competitions. No stone is left unturned in the pursuit of performance excellence and the needs of every player are carefully catered for – with increasing levels of attention and intensity along the way. They are trained using the best physical and mental techniques, taught core skills, functional movement and tactical awareness as well as provided with first class medical and nutritional support. In total, Connacht Rugby spends over €40,000 on every player that makes it through the elite pathway to professional standards. A total figure of €1,500,000 is invested every year across the entire development programme.

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Latest News

From Grassroots...Academy players graduate to the Senior Squad

The Connacht Academy has produced another crop of professional players with the promotion of hooker Dave Heffernan and second row Danny Qualter to the senior squad.  

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Darragh Leader to start for Ireland Under-20s

Galway-born and Connacht Academy player Darragh Leader has been named at full back in the team to face Italy in the final game of the U20 Six Nations tournament. 

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Andrew Browne signs new Connacht contract

Versatile Connacht forward Andrew Browne has signed a new two year contract to remain at the Sportsground.

Galway born Browne made his debut for the province in 2006/7 season and has gone on to make 84 appearances.

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Grassroots to Greenshirts launch at Carton House

The top table in the beautiful Gold Salon room at Carton House included Connacht Rugby CEO Tom Sears, Head of Commercial & Marketing Alex Saul, Elite Player Development Officer Jimmy Duffy and senior player Tiernan O’Halloran.

All were there to introduce the crowdfunding initiative and articulate the vision of Connacht Rugby to members of the Irish media.

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Robbie Henshaw gets the call from Ireland

In January 2013, 19-year-old Robbie Henshaw was called up to the Ireland and O2 Ireland Wolfhounds Training Squad, along with fellow Connacht players Dave McSharry and Mike McCarthy.

Henshaw and McSharry were both among the six uncapped players in Declan Kidney’s training squad for the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds game and the opening game of the RBS 6 Nations Championship against Wales

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The Rise of Kieran Marmion

The rise of Kieran Marmion’s playing career with Connacht this season has been exceptional. The 20-year-old has gained all of his 22 Connacht caps this season, being the only squad member to start in every game since the opening fixture against Cardiff Blues back in September.

The scrum-half, who was born in Wales but whose father and grandfather both hail from Loughrea, Co. Galway, has been capped at U-18, U-19 and U-20 level by Ireland.

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To date there are funders of this project