Cathal Forde signs two-year contract extension with Connacht

Young inside centre has impressed for the province since progressing from the province’s academy in 2022

Cathal Forde has signed a new two-year contract with Connacht, the province has announced.

A product of the province’s academy, Forde has impressed predominantly at inside centre for a number of seasons after being highlighted as an exciting prospect for Ireland U20s in 2021. A Galway Corinthians clubman, the 22-year-old has made 23 appearances for his native province since his debut in January 2022.

The versatile back can also cover outside centre and outhalf.

“Cathal is an exciting talent and excellent young professional, and I am delighted he has committed to Connacht Rugby for another two seasons,” said Pete Wilkins, the province’s head coach.


“As a local lad and academy graduate, he is a great example of the type of player and person that the club and supporters are so proud to be associated with.

He has thrived with the first team opportunities he has been given so far and we are all excited by what he can achieve in the season to come”

At the turn of the year, stats company Opta released their top five rankings for inside centres for the calendar year of 2023. Forde was ranked third at the position globally based on a number of statistical categories, behind only Jordie Barrett and Connacht teammate Bundee Aki.

With Fiji’s Josua Tuisova and Damian de Allende of South Africa rounding out the top five, Forde was both the youngest player and the only non-international listed.

“I am delighted to sign a two-year contract and extend my stay at my home province,” said Forde. “I feel like there’s so much more to come with my game and I know being at Connacht will help develop that.

“We’ve got a really good group of players here and I want to play my part in helping this club succeed”

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist