Australian Sevens international John Porch has committed to play 15s for Connacht in Ireland ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Porch was first recruited into the Aussie sevens programme in 2015 by then coach Andy Friend. The speedy winger will be linking up with Friend in the Connacht set-up and will play in the Champions Cup competition.
In the first nine appearances for Australia, Porch scored 96 points, a feat that earned him a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics sevens squad. He is sixth in HSBC World Sevens Series stats log with 175 points, behind leader Madison Hughes, of the USA, with 243 points.
Speaking to the Connacht Rugby website, Friend said he was confident Porch would make a positive impact on the team.
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“John Porch is a player that was identified as a prospect for the Australian Sevens squad in early 2016,” he said. “I was extremely impressed by his performance in his first tournament and subsequently offered him a contract.
“He was a hugely impressive player at sevens level, and I believe that he will suit the style of play and culture in Connacht as we prepare for the season.”
Porch was pleased with the opportunity to work with his former sevens coach again in 15s.
“I am really excited about signing for Connacht. I obviously know Andy from his time with the Australia Sevens programme and he recruited me and gave me my debut in 2015,” he said. “The possibility of playing Champions Cup rugby in Sports ground next season is an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down.
“I’m looking forward to getting over to Ireland now and linking up with the squad,” he was quoted as saying by the Connacht Rugby website.
In the 2017-18 world series season Porch scored 28 tries for Australia. He is tied with fellow Australian Simon Kennewell at 17 tries with eight rounds of the 2018-19 season already played.
Main photo: Connacht Rugby