Porch signs with Connacht

by RUGBY.com.au staff

Aussie Sevens winger John Porch has signed with Irish XVs side, Connacht in a move that ends the possibility of  a second Olympic berth.

Connacht confirmed the signing overnight, with Porch set to join the Pro14 side ahead of the 2019-20 season.

The deal puts Porch back under the coaching of former Aussie Sevens coach Andy Friend, who brought the 24-year-old into the Sevens program ahead of the Rio Olympics.

Porch was one of five youngsters who, back in 2017, signed with the Sevens through to the end of 2020 while Friend was still at the helm.

The winger, who scored 28 tries in the 2017-18 World Series hasn't played for the Aussie Sevens since March's Vancouver 7s and has seemingly fallen out of form and favour in recent months.

Porch has been testing the waters in XVs in recent weeks, starring for Norths in the Shute Shield this season, and said the lure of playing in tournaments like Europe's Champions Cup was a big part of his decision to move.

“I am really excited about signing for Connacht," he said in a statement.

"I obviously know Andy from his time with the Australia Sevens programme and he  gave me my debut in 2016.

"The possibility of playing Champions Cup rugby in the Sportsground next season is an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down.

"I’m looking forward to getting over to Ireland now and linking up with the squad."

Friend said he was looking forward to having Porch in the squad.

“John Porch is a player that was identified as a prospect for the Australian Sevens squad in early 2016," he said.

"I was extremely impressed by his performances in his first tournament and subsequently offered him a contract.

"He was a hugely impressive player at Sevens level, and I believe that he will suit the style of play and culture in Connacht as we prepare for the season ahead."