Connacht Rugby is pleased to announce the latest in our new player signings for the upcoming season. 20-year-old Jake Heenan from Northland, New Zealand has signed for the province on a three year deal.
An abrasive openside flanker, Jake Heenan captained the New Zealand Under-20’s when they finished runners-up to South Africa in the 2012 Junior World Championship last year.
The former Whangarei Boys' High School First XV captain went on to sign for Auckland and was a member of the Blues development programme.
Incoming Head Coach Pat Lam spoke about the young forward he spotted at an early age:
“I came across Jake when he was 17 years old. He played for the Blues Under-18 team when they won the National competition and, even then, I could see what a natural leader and genuine team player he was.
“He brought those leadership skills, as well as his physicality, to the U20 World Championship last summer with the Baby Blacks.
“Jake is highly regarded back in New Zealand and it is a real coup for Connacht to catch him. I’m very much looking forward to working with him when he arrives here in early July.”
-- COURTESY CONNACHT RUGBY
In the News and On the Web
BIG MONEY LURING YOUNG RUGBY PLAYERS AWAY
Stuff.co.nz - 19 May 2013
Chiefs coach Dave Rennie believes that the hope of an All Blacks jersey is no longer enough to keep younger rugby players in New Zealand.
Rennie, whose side defeated the Hurricanes 17-12 in Wellington on Friday, said the Chiefs have battled over the last week to find a midfield replacement for the injured Richard Kahui.
The player drain away from New Zealand is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, he believes. The Chiefs have recruited Waikato centre Save Tokula and Hawke's Bay first-five Dan Waenga - though both head offshore at the end of 2013, with contracts in France.
Rennie told RadioSport yesterday that the Chiefs situation is an example for what is happening in the rest of rugby in this country: that second-tier players, without international experience can, and will, take big money overseas contracts.
"In the past, the lure of the black jersey was a really big thing for players, and if they became an All Black and then went overseas later in their career, they could command pretty big money," Rennie said.
"There's a lot of guys who go now, who know they can get big money without being an All Black. There's a massive amount of Kiwis playing rugby overseas at the moment.
JUNIOR RUGBY STAR HEENAN QUITS NZ FOR IRELAND
Stuff.co.nz - 16 May 2013
It's not just All Blacks who are turning their backs on New Zealand rugby, with ex-Blues coach Pat Lam luring former under-20s flanker Jake Heenan to play in Ireland.
Lam's Connacht have signed Heenan, an openside from Auckland, on a three-year contract.
The 20-year-old helps fill the void in a position previously held by veteran Irish international Johnny O'Connor, who retired at the end of the season.
Heenan was a member of the New Zealand under-20 squad which finished runners-up behind South Africa at the junior world championship last year.
He is currently a member of the Blues development squad but has been snapped up by Lam as a player of immense promise.
RUGBY: YOUNG KIWI HEENAN SIGNED BY CONNACHT
Yahoo Sport - 16 May 2013
Last year's New Zealand under 20 rugby captain has been singed by new Irish province Connacht coach Pat Lam.
20-year-old flanker Jake Heenan captained the under 20's to the World Championship final in South Africa last June.
The former Whangarei Boys high first XV captain signed for Auckland and the Blues development programme.
Lam says he first saw Heenan as a 17-year-old and is delighted to secure him on a three year contract from July.
CONNACHT CONFIRM HEENAN SIGNING
Setanta Sports - 15 May 2013
Connacht Rugby have signed New Zealand U20′s captain Jake Heenan on a three-year deal.
The openside flanker skippered the All Blacks when they finished runners-up to South Africa in the 2012 Junior World Championship last summer before going on to sign for Auckland.
Having spent time as a member of the Blues development programme Heenan has signed a three-year deal to join Connacht and incoming head coach Pat Lam is looking forward to working with the 20-year-old.
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IL CAPITANO DEI BABY BLACKS AL CONNACHT
Fugby Mercato - 15 May 2013
Grande colpo di mercato del Connacht che si è assicurato per la prossima stagione il capitano della Nuova Zelanda under 20 dell’anno passato, il flanker Jake Heenan.
Classe 1992, il ragazzo ha firmato un accordo triennale con la provincia irlandese. Entusiasta il tecnico Pat Lam che conosce Heenan da quando aveva 17 anni.
Il terza linea milita attualmente nella formazione di Npc di Auckland, oltre a far parte del programma di sviluppo dei Blues.
CONNACHT SIGN NEW ZEALANDER JAKE HEENAN
Irish Times - 15 May 2013
Connacht have announced the signing of 20-year-old Jake Heenan from New Zealand on a three year deal.
An abrasive openside flanker, Heenan captained the New Zealand Under-20’s when they finished runners-up to South Africa in the 2012 Junior World Championship last summer.
The former Whangarei Boys’ High School First XV captain went on to sign for Auckland and was a member of the Blues development programme. Incoming Coannacht had coach Pat Lam spoke about the young forward he spotted at an early age.
JAKE HEENAN: CONNACHT SIGN EX-NEW ZEALAND U20 CAPTAIN
BBC Sport - 15 May 2013
Connacht have signed former New Zealand Under-20 captain Jake Heenan on a three-year contract.
The openside flanker will provide cover in a position vacated by veteran Irish international Johnny O'Connor, who retired at the end of the season.
Heenan, 20, captained New Zealand when they finished runners-up to South Africa in the 2012 Junior World Championship last summer.
He has been signed from Auckland Blues development squad by new coach Pat Lam.