Rugby Connacht interested in Leinster’s Hawaiian prospect Salanoa as eastern province braced for interprovincial raids

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Rugby Leinster's Roman Salanoa arrives prior to the Guinness Pro14 Round 10 match against Connacht at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Leinster’s Roman Salanoa arrives prior to the Guinness Pro14 Round 10 match against Connacht at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Connacht are interested in signing Leinster’s Hawaiian prospect Roman Salanoa as the unbeaten eastern province brace themselves for a raid on their squad from their local rivals.

The former American footballer is rated as a serious prospect by the PRO14 champions and made his senior debut against Ulster last month, adding a second cap off the bench against Andy Friend’s men a week later.

Salanoa has been in Dublin since September 2018, playing his club rugby for Old Belvedere and working with the Leinster Academy.

He is in year one of the Leinster Academy and will qualify to play for Ireland in 2023 under World Rugby’s five-year residency laws if he remains here.

Connacht want to lure him west with the prospect of increased exposure to the top level and a senior deal as Friend looks to build a stronger squad.

Salanoa tips the scales at 123kg and is 6ft tall, but he only took up rugby in his final year of High School and was picked for the USA U-20s at the en

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