Connacht release Samoan nutcracker
Connacht release Samoan nutcrackerSHARE
Samoan fullback James So'oialo has been released from his Connacht contract on compassionate grounds by the club and the Ireland Rugby Football Union.
The 24-year-old will return to his family and three children in New Zealand.
So'oialo arrived in Connacht in late September following permit delays and got game time in both European Cup pool games against Saracens and Zebre.
Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: "James came to us with an urgent request to return home to New Zealand where his young family is based.
"His situation was one we could sympathise with and we were able to organise a release, effective immediately. We wish James all the best in the future."
So’oialo said: "I've enjoyed my short time at Connacht and was made feel so welcome by the boys. But I need to be with my family now. I wish Connacht all the best and I'll be keeping a keen eye on their progress from New Zealand."
So'oialo in June escaped punishment after grabbing the testicles of Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss in the ill-tempered final of the four-nation tournament at Loftus Versfeld, which South Africa won 56-23.