One of Connacht’s most senior players, Brett Wilkinson, has signed a contract extension that will see the loose-head prop stay at The Sportsground until the end of the 2013 season and the Province have also been boosted by the signing of talented back-row TJ Anderson from Ulster.
Wilkinson joined Connacht in 2006 and quickly earned his place in the team with his powerful scrummaging and excellent ball-carrying skills. Originally from Grahamstown, South Africa, the 6’0” 119kg, 27 year prop qualifies to play for Ireland through residency and in 2009 was called into the Ireland Wolfhounds side to face Tonga. He marked that occasion with a 3rd minute try and went on to earn a further cap that year against Argentina Jaguares along with caps against the Saxons and Scotland A in 2010. In October 2010 Brett “Wilko” earned his 100th cap for Connacht and in doing so joined fellow team-mates, John Muldoon, Gavin Duffy, Johnny O’Connor and Michael Swift in the “100 Club” still playing for the Province.
“Connacht has been my home for the last 5 years and it’s great to be able to commit for another 2 years. I’m delighted to have played for Ireland Wolfhounds and I would love to make the next step and represent Ireland at Senior level but at the moment I am concentrating on being the best rugby player I can be and helping Connacht make their mark in the Magners League.”
Connacht are also pleased to announced the signing of Ulster’s TJ Anderson. The 24 year old back-row player will join Connacht at the end of this season on a 2 year deal. Anderson has been capped 18 times in the Magners League in his 3 years with Ulster and has been a regular in their British and Irish Cup team, captaining the Ulster Ravens in January. The 6’4” 98kg Magherafelt born player was part of the Ireland U20 team that won the Grand Slam in 2007 in a side that included current Connacht players Andrew Browne, Jamie Hagan and Shane Monahan.