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Connacht keen to seal Marmion on new contract


Kieran Marmion
Kieran Marmion

By Cian Tracey

Connacht head coach Andy Friend remains optimistic that Kieran Marmion will sign a new contract with the province.

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The Ireland scrum-half has been linked with Saracens and, although the English Premiership side's cur­rent predicament will have major repercussions on potential new sign­ings, Marmion is understood to be assessing his options.

The 27-year-old was overlooked for a spot in Ireland's World Cup squad, but Friend has urged Marmion to put that disappointment behind him and renew his deal which expires at the end of the season.

"Kieran is very aware that we would like him to stay," Friend said. "I wouldn't be surprised if there is four or five other clubs, whether it's Saracens or whoever else, want to talk to him, good luck to them.

"But ideally he'd stay with us. My message to him is: 'Kieran, whatever you decided to do, we will back you and respect your decision. We'd love you to stay at Connacht'.

"He shared with us that he was frustrated. He shared with us that he loves living in Galway. He shared that he has had many a fun night at the Sportsground playing for Connacht. So, from our point of view, hopefully that's the thing that he holds on to the most when he makes the deci­sion."

Connacht are also hoping to tie down Bundee Aki, who is likewise out of contract at the end of the season.

"That would be nice too," Friend con­tinued. "We're in talks about recruit­ment but it's a lot about retention, making sure you are keeping the right people.

"We have got a really healthy group of players. It's really important we lock down the main ones who have got us to where we are."

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