Transfer news: Connacht Rugby has strengthened its options for next season with the signing of multi-use South African-qualifier Shane Bolton.
Bolton, whose grandmother was from Dublin, would arrive in Connacht with a reputation as one of the brightest youngsters in rugby in South Africa. The 20-year-old represents University of the Free State in the Varsity Cup and has also impressed in the U21 SA Championship.
A strong and skilled ball carrier, his ability to play midfield and anywhere across all three defenders will be a huge boost to Andy Friend’s team next season.
The coach explained how the move came about:
“Having learned of Shane’s availability and his Irish origins, we monitored his development and did some additional work to confirm his ability to play.
“It quickly became clear that he was the type of player who could add real value to our team. He has been making headlines in South Africa with his recent performances, and while still only 20 years old, he has all the qualities to become a top-class professional player.
“Versatile players are a key component we look for in our lineup, and Shayne fits this category perfectly. He started as full-back and winger before moving to midfield in the past year or two, so we’re looking forward to his arrival and seeing how best to integrate him into the squad. “.
Shane Bolton says Connacht is the perfect place to start his career:
After many conversations with Andy and Tim [Allnutt]I knew this was an opportunity I had to take.
“They talked about how proud they are of developing the players and I immediately felt that Connacht was the right place to take my game to the next level.
“I can’t wait to reconnect with my Irish roots and prepare for next season.”