Sean Masterson, a product of the Portlaoise rugby club youth system, made his senior Connacht debut at the weekend in their big win over Italian side Treviso in the Sportsground in Galway.
Masterson, who has played for Ireland at U-18, U-19 and U-20 level and is a former Connacht U-19 player of the year, came off the bench to replace his brother Eoghan in the backrow with 15 minutes remaining.
Connacht were 41-5 winners over Treviso in the second round of the Guinness Pro14. Former Connacht and Munster outhalf and Irish international Ian Keatley was part of the Treviso team who were without a massive 15 players who are part of the Italy squad at the World Cup in Japan.
Among the Connacht team were the likes of Ultan Dillane, Quinn Ruox, Kieran Marmion and Tiernan O’Halloran who have all been capped by Ireland.
Eoghan has become an established part of the Connacht senior squad and has 74 appearances to his name since making his debut back in the 2014-2015 season.
Eoghan also came through the underage ranks in Portlaoise before joining the Connacht Academy. He actually played U-20 international rugby with Scotland as his father Pat is Scottish.
The family are from the Colliers Lane in Portlaoise but played underage GAA with Park-Ratheniska. They play their club rugby with Galway side Corinthians.
There is also a Laois link in the Connacht sub academy where Killenard’s Luc Culliton is involved. He feature in a couple of pre-season friendlies with Connacht’s second team, Connacht Eagles.