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Monday, October 19, 2015

MacGinty Joins Connacht

Heading into the World Cup AJ MacGinty was one of the Eagles best candidates to gain an overseas contract if he played well. Although the Eagles didn't pick up a win they did play well and much of that was due to MacGinty who not only showed off good playmaking abilities, a strong boot, but also solid defense. Those qualities didn't go unnoticed by Connacht who have signed MacGinty to a contract for the rest of the year. The move will see MacGinty return to his native Ireland. He played with Blackrock before moving to NYAC and then eventually Life.

MacGinty should be a good candidate to see minutes with the first team during the regular season but will also likely have the opportunity to earn time in the British & Irish Cup as well as in the All Ireland League if he doesn't see minutes for the first team. Overall, that's good for him and the Eagles. MacGinty becomes for the first regular Eagles fly-half to have an overseas contract since Mike Hercus.

Take the jump to read more.
In a press release on their website Connacht CEO Willie Ruane said: “We’re delighted to welcome AJ to Connacht Rugby. He has made a name for himself as a young Irish man playing for USA in the Rugby World Cup but has been doing very well in the States for the past few years and we are very pleased that he will strengthen our options at out half.”

MacGinty chipped in: “I am very happy to join Connacht for the season ahead. This is a great opportunity for me to develop as a player under the tutelage of Pat and his impressive coaching team. I can’t wait to get started.”

Head Coach Pat Lam added: “As a young Irish player playing abroad, AJ has been on our radar for quite some time now and we have been watching his games closely since he first played in the PNC during the summer.  His performances in the Rugby World Cup were impressive and we’re very pleased that he’s now joining Connacht Rugby.

“AJ adds to our options at outhalf and we expect him to bring with him his experience of playing at the highest level. His skillset compliments our game and he has shown that he can execute the basics of kicking and passing in high pressure situations.

“I had the chance to meet him properly last week and discuss his future.  He’s an extremely ambitious and determined young man when it comes to his continued development as a rugby player. That lined up with our own programme and what we are doing here at Connacht Rugby so we are really excited to have him on board and we know that he will add a great deal to our environment. “


  1. This is terrific news for MacGinty and by extension the Eagles but it points to a genuine conundrum when it comes to launching a professional league in this country. Our best players need to get the best experience they can get - which is clearly overseas. Building a professional league without our best players devalues the quality of the league since our brightest stars are hopefully playing overseas.

  2. happy that it happened but not entirely surprised either. he was the one eagle who was always most likely to move. also, connacht have a solid squad but still one that he will get time in. i hope he can work his way into a multi year deal.

    do you see this affecting his time with the eagles? (ie any agreements in place ala samu manoa when he was at northhampton)

    also, who else do you see moving? could quill go back to the london welsh now that they are back in the championship? a move for al mcfarland or maybe a move away from 7s for either barret or duratalo?

    it was nice seeing a slight bit of panic from the irish fans in the comments section of the story from an irish newspaper. they were angling at a way to get him playing in a green kit.

    1. I remember Madison Hughes said something about a lot of guys wanting to stay put on the 7s team until after the Olympics.