New Connacht coach Eric Elwood has announced that back-rower John Muldoon will captain Connacht again this season.

Elwood took over from Michael Bradley at the end of last season and he has opted for continuity by retaining the Portumna man, who impressed for both province and country last year.

With Muldoon leading from the front, Connacht scored victories over Leinster and the Cardiff Blues, as well as an Amlin Challenge Cup run that ended with a narrow defeat to French powerhouse Toulon.

The 28-year-old toured the southern hemisphere with Ireland this summer but had to return home to after breaking his arm in Ireland’s heavy defeat to New Zealand.

But the Portumna man has already returned to training and he is looking forward to returning to full duty in October, a month after the Magners League gets underway.

He said: ‘I was very disappointed coming off the field against New Zealand as I knew I had done serious damage and would be out for a bit but I was delighted when Eric showed his faith in me by appointing me as the captain again.

‘It is a great honour to lead your province out onto the field and we are all looking forward the start of the season, hopefully we can take the momentum from the end of last season and bring that forward into this year.'

Elwood has also retained the majority of his squad from last year, though there are some switches.

Former Leinster and Ulster scrum-half Cillian Willis replaces the retired Kieran Campbell, Ezra Taylor comes in for the departed George Naoupu and young stars Darragh Fanning and Shane Monahan join the senior rank.

Elwood believes he has the right formula for a winning side.

He said: ‘I am very happy with the continuity of the squad from last year and we will try and build on that. Ezra is coming from the Queensland Reds and has played at a high level and we will give him every opportunity to prove himself here.

‘We’ve also brought in young, hungry players such as Darragh and Shane and this is their opportunity to show and develop their skills in the Magners’ League and in Europe.’