Offaly man caps off 100th appearance for Connacht with a try
BIRR man Shane Delahunt achieved a big milestone when he made his 100th appearance for Connacht last weekend.
Hooker Delahunt capped the occasion off with a try as Connacht had a fine 26-19 bonus point victory over Ospreys in the Guinness Pro 14 Rainbow Cup in the Sportsground.
Delahunt had settled Connacht when he powered over the line for an early try as they led by 26-19 at half time – there was no score in the second half.
He was replaced as Connacht used their quota of subs but it was still a memorable occasion from him.
Delahunt joined the Connacht Academy in the summer of 2014, and made his debut off the bench against Glasgow that September. Following a string of appearances he was handed his first Pro contract ahead of the 2016-17 season and has been a mainstay in the squad since then.
Connacht head coach Andy Dfriend said: ““I’m delighted for Shane Delahunt who becomes the latest centurion in the squad. Shane always gives us huge energy and he’s had a big increase in game-time this season which is a testament to him and how he’s performed. He’s a great character and a popular member of the dressing room too.
“We’d obviously prefer to be in the chasing pack for the Final but it’s still important we finish the season on a high. It’s been such a strange and long 12 months for all the players and staff, but we owe it to ourselves, the supporters and our departing players and staff that we do everything to win this one.”
27 years of age, Delahunt progressed up through the underage rugby ranks with Birr. He went to Kilkenny College, captaining them in the Leinster Senior Cup before going to UCD with whom he played. He played with Lansdowne and Buccaneers before moving to Connacht in 2014.
He initially played in the Leinster academy set up and captained the provincial U-19 side. Initially a prop, he switched to hooker from U-20 level. This transition saw his career stall a bit but he has made great progress in the Connacht squad while he was a member of the Irish U-20 6 Nations squad in 2014.
A very well known and popular man, he is from Killeen in Birr and is a member of a farming family – he continues to work on the farm as his rugby commitments allow.
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