Connacht sign New Zealand-born Irish-qualified winger

Josh Rowland has previously played for Counties Manuaku and North Harbour

Rowland, Connacht, Ireland, Rugby, New Zealand

Josh Rowland Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Photosport/Chris Symes

Connacht Rugby and Pat Lam may have worked their magic again as they announced the signing of back Josh Rowland on Thursday.

The New Zealand-born Rowland qualifies for Ireland through his grandmother, who hails from Dublin, and has been in Ireland since April 2016 training and playing with the Ireland Sevens.

The 27-year-old is already familair with a couple of his new team-mates at the Sports ground, too, having played on the same Manukau side as Bundee Aki in 2012, when the pair were coached by Tana Umaga.

Commenting on the new signing Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: "We became aware of Josh's availability as an Irish-qualified player through his involvement with the Ireland sevens programme earlier this year. He has had a good few months with the sevens set up and we're looking forward to seeing what he can add to our back three options at Connacht as we prepare for a huge season ahead in both the Pro12 and Champions Cup."

Josh Rowland added that he was delighted to be invilved in the set-up with the Pro12 Champions and that "training and playing in Ireland the last few months has been fantastic [...] I feel I'm in a good place fitness-wise after an intense few weeks with the sevens so I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running at Connacht and putting in some good pre-season work. It's a huge opportunity for me as a player and I want to make the most of it and do what I can for the team."