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John Muldoon And Connacht: A Beardy Love Affair That Will Never Die

John Muldoon And Connacht:  A Beardy Love Affair That Will Never Die

Clearly life in the West suits John Muldoon. So much so that the Portumna native has committed his future to Connacht rugby for a 14th season. It is the longest run of any active Irish rugby player with one province.

Is it the clean ocean air or the lush green fields that has kept the 33-year-old from seeking challenges farther afield?

Well, after playing 260 times for the club since his debut in 2004, including 58 European caps, Muldoon's gushing comments explain that the club has become part of who he is.

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"It was very easy for me to sign on with Connacht for another year,” Muldoon said when the news was announced.

“I love this place, and I couldn't imagine playing anywhere else now.

“I'm definitely the 'old man' in the squad but I don't feel it. Playing and training with these younger lads just drives me on even further and I'm really enjoying what we're doing as a squad.”

"Connacht has changed immeasurably since I started out but every year we have been building and I've just loved being a part of it. There have been plenty of highs and lows but those experiences, particularly the lows, just remind me of how far we have come.

"I'm excited about the rest of the season and the next and I believe we can achieve big things for Connacht."

Yes, it was quite the love-in on the West Coast and manager Pat Lam paid huge respect for his side's captain.

"Not only is John one of the most consistent players in terms of his performances, he is a hugely respected individual as our captain,” Lam said.

“After so many years, he continues to demand high standards of himself and of everyone around him.

“He epitomises the 'Connacht man' and is a great example to our younger players about what you can achieve with hard work.

"Personally I am very happy to be working with John again next season."

Cian Roche