Connacht flanker announces intention to declare for Ireland

Jake Heenan captained the New Zealand u-20's in the World Cup

BY Chris Jordan 18:43 Saturday 14 May 2016, 18:43 14 May 2016

©INPHO/Ashley Crowden 

Connacht flanker Jake Hennan has been outstanding form for the Westerners since his return from injury and he has now announed his intention to pull on the green jersey of Ireland.

The New Zealand native captained his home country at the u-20 World Cup in 2012 and was expected to pull on the all-blacks jersey at some point in his career, but in 2013 he opted for a change of scenery and moved to Galway.

Injuries have somewhat disrupted is progress at Connacht but he has looked very impressive when he has lined out for Pat Lam's side, with talk of an Ireland call up gathering momentum. 

Connacht's Jake Heenan celebrates after the Glasgow game
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Heenan qualifies through the residency rules next year and he has spoken about his will to play international rugby. 

"I've every intention of playing international rugby. For me, it's about coming back in good shape, having a good pre-season and putting the performances in and hopefully put my hand up for November,' he said speaking to

"I have every belief that I'm good enough and that I'm able to put in the performances needed to play (for Ireland).

"I have every opportunity, at Connacht, to do it because of the games we're playing. I just have to look after myself, work hard, do my thing and hopefully get the nod."

Should Heenan receive a call up to Joe Schmidt's squad, he will follow the likes of Ulster's Jared Payne, Munster's CJ Stander and team mate Nathan White to qualify for Ireland through the controversial residency rules

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