Ireland Under 20 international prop Sam Illo has signed his first professional contract with Connacht after signing a two-year contract ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Illo represents Old Wesley RFC and has played with Leinster at underage level. He was part of the Ireland U20 side in all five games this summer and will link up with Connacht squad during their pre-season preparations.
“I’m over the moon to be joining Connacht Rugby and I’d like to thank Andy and all the coaches for giving me this opportunity," he told the club's official website.
"I’m especially looking forward to linking up with Colm Tucker after working closely with him while with the Ireland U20s. To sign my first pro contract is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get started with the rest of the squad.”
Connacht head coach Andy Friend said he was impressed with Illo's performance in the recently concluded U20 Six Nations tournament.
“Sam’s arrival to Connacht is another boost for us ahead of the new season," said Friend.
"He was one of Ireland’s standout performers in the U20 Six Nations and has a very bright future ahead of him. I’m confident that at Connacht he will be able to take his game to the next level and give us further options in the front row.”