Adam Byrne is the latest player to confirm his departure from Leinster, with the Ireland international joining Connacht next season.

The Kildare wing is the third player from the URC champions to move to Galway next season, following teammates Josh Murphy and Peter Dooley in swapping blue for green.

He's also the third Leinster player to announce his departure today, with Rory O'Loughlin and Jack Dunne earlier unveiled by the Exeter Chiefs.

Connacht head coach Andy Friend believes Byrne could thrive with their brand of rugby.

"Everyone in Irish rugby knows of the quality Adam has as a footballer. He will complement the style of rugby we play here at Connacht, and his height and strong physical attributes will also offer us something different.

"Many players have taken their games to a new level after being given the platform here at the club and I know Adam has what it takes to do the same," Friend said.

The 27-year-old (below) has played 63 times for Leinster, with six of those coming this season, making his long-awaited return from 21 months out injured in October's URC win against Zebre.

Earlier today, his Leinster teammates Jack Dunne and Rory O'Loughlin were confirmed as Exeter players for next season.

The Premiership club confirmed the signings this afternoon, with Dunne's move widely reported in recent months, while O'Loughlin's departure only became apparent in recent days.

"We're kind of looking for different things from the two players, but we believe we have got that with these two guys. They have got good experience, come from a very good environment, where they have been part of a high performing team and training unit, so they tick a lot of boxes for us," Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter said.

"We have played against Leinster numerous times and you can see the success they have had in both their domestic competition, as well as in Europe."

Centre O'Loughlin has played 92 times for Leinster since making his debut in 2016, winning four URC titles and a Heineken Cup along the way, and earned his sole Ireland cap on the summer tour of Japan in 2017.

However, he's found first team opportunities limited this season, with Jamie Osborne becoming more and more prominent in the side.

Twenty-three-year-old Dunne (below) had been expected to leave the province since it emerged they were in the market for Munster second row Jason Jenkins.

The 6ft 8in lock - who is English qualified - has only featured 17 times in senior competition for Leinster across the last four seasons.

"Jack, as soon as I looked at clips of him impressed me a lot," added Baxter.

"He's a big guy, but he’s a big guy who can really move. He’s young, the right age, and everything I saw in the clips I liked. Meeting him here at Sandy Park doing his medical was good. He has had a relatively significant injury in recent times, so if people have been looking to him playing over the last 12 months, he’s not had a huge amount of game time.

"That said, he’s back now and playing for Leinster, so he coming through things.

"Personally, I can only see an upward performance curve in him. With game time, genuine input and probably a little bit more opportunity to play than he did at Leinster, who have got an awful lot of very good second rows, I think it fits for both sides.

"We have a slot there, Jack is looking to play more rugby, he’s EQP (England qualified), which obviously helps us and creates opportunities for him here in England as well, so the package has been great and hopefully he is someone who will play a lot of rugby for us."

"Rory is slightly different. He’s an older guy, but with bags of experience having come through all the levels at Leinster, right up to winning a Heineken Cup with them. That’s the kind of guy we are probably looking for in our back line. He’s is someone who can add genuine communication, a bit of talk, a bit of heads-up and can see space a little bit, understand where we are, alongside being a very good rugby player."

The 2020 Premiership and Heineken Cup champions have a strong track record when it comes to signing Irish players, with former Shannon back row Tom Hayes, and Ulster man Gareth Steenson both club legends at Sandy Park.

Of the current squad, former Ireland international Ian Whitten has been at the club since 2012, while ex-Connacht centre Sean O'Brien joined in 2021.

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