Duffy returns to Connacht
March 2, 2007
Ireland international Gavin Duffy has left NEC Harlequins with immediate effect to re-join Irish province Connacht; the club who he joined Quins from in the summer of 2003.
The 25 year-old full back / centre made his league debut for Quins against Rotherham Titans on 20th September 2003 and went on to be a key figure in helping the club to win the Parker Pen Challenge Cup that season. Indeed, Duffy scored the opening try in the 27-26 victory over Montferrand in the final at the Madejski Stadium on 22nd May 2004.
Duffy was then selected for the Ireland squad that toured South Africa in June 2004 and won his first cap in the second test (19th June). The following summer and he won two futher caps on Ireland's tour of Japan, having scored his first international try when coming on as a replacement in the victory over Scotland in the Six Nations Championship earlier that year (12th February 2005).
"I am sad to be leaving NEC Harlequins, as I have had a tremendous four years at the club and have enjoyed every moment of it," said Duffy. "There is a great bunch of lads here, and I wish everyone involved with Quins every success for the rest of this season and beyond".
"However, I have been given the opportunity to return to Connacht and to play some first team rugby and I felt that it was too good an opportunity to miss out on. I am very grateful to Dean (Richards) and the Quins management team for allowing me to take this chance".
"I would like to thank Gavin for his services to the club and wish him every success in the future," said Dean Richards, NEC Harlequins Director of Rugby. "He stuck by us following the clubs relegation in April 2005 and played a big part in helping Quins to win both the National Division One league title and the Powergen National Trophy last season."
In addition to Duffy, winger George Harder has joined French club side Mont De Masson. Furthermore, back row forward Luke Sherriff has gone on-loan to Nottingham, while tighthead prop Lorne Ward, along with Academy players George Robson and Tosh Masson will be with London Welsh all until the end of the season.
Munster, No.8s, the imploding Australians, wonderful Glasgow and Lancaster's dilemma - it is Monday Maul time
As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.