Connacht stalwart signs on for more

Wed, 23 Jan 2013 18:40
Large michaelswiftaironi

Veteran lock Michael Swift has signed a one-year contract extension with Connacht.

Veteran lock Michael Swift has signed a one-year contract extension with Connacht.

The longest-serving player for Connacht has chalked up a record 157 league appearances and has also played 70 games in the European Cup and European Challenge Cup during his 14 seasons with Connacht.

Born in London in 1977, "Swifty" played for Richmond as a flank before spending a season at Leeds Tykes. He joined Connacht in 2000 and earned his first cap for the province against Ulster that year whilst also playing for Galwegians RFC in the All Ireland League.

He earned his 100th cap for Connacht against Montpellier in December 2006, becoming the fifth Connacht player to do so and in 2009 he earned his 100th league cap against the Cardiff Blues.

In 2010, Swift was honoured with the Galway Bay FM Sports Award for rugby, the same year he scored one of Connacht's most memorable tries in their 27-13 victory over Leinster in the Sportsground.

He became the first player in Connacht's history to reach the 200th cap milestone when he lined up against Edinburgh in September 2011.

The 6'5", 120kg second row remains a regular fixture, having played in 12 of Connacht´s Pro12 games this season as well as four European Cup games, and shows no sign of slowing down.

He said: "I'm delighted to have signed for another year with Connacht. It's an exciting time to be involved with the province and in a squad that is shaping up nicely for next season.

“I've been here a long time now but every season, every game, it's still so exciting to me and I feel I have a lot more to give."

When Swift was appointed 'Club Captain' for the current season, head coach Eric Elwood spoke about the loyalty and commitment of his former teammate, saying: "Swifty is a fantastic ambassador for the club. He plays 100% on and off the field. He acts as a great support to the management, the players and the sponsors.

“And he is an incredible role model for the younger players coming up through the ranks. There is a lot of respect there for Swifty, both within the club and from the supporters and wider community."

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