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Last Updated: Monday, 4 September 2006, 09:40 GMT 10:40 UK
Saint Sturgess signs for Connacht
Brett Sturgess
Brett Sturgess came up through the ranks at Franklin's Gardens
Connacht have signed 24-year-old prop Brett Sturgess from Northampton following the loss of talented Ireland U21 star Ronan Loughney.

Galway native Loughney suffered a second cruciate ligament injury and will miss most of the season.

Sturgess came through the ranks at Northampton and his signing will give Connacht a further boost.

"Ronan's injury was unfortunate but Brett will help us in that area," said Connacht coach Bradley.

Bradley's side got their Magners League campaign off to the perfect start with an away victory over the Borders at the weekend.

The Connacht coach, now preparing for his team for six straight matches at home, was delighted with the win over a Borders side which started with 12 internationals.

"We had to work hard for the win. They put us under a lot of pressure early on but we maintained our composure," said Bradley.

"We kept upping our performance as the game went on and in the end this is what won the match for us.

"It was a great team performance but the displays of Mark McHugh at out-half and Andrew Farley up front were crucial.

"We needed composure behind the scrum and Mark obliged, and when we needed to stem their early dominance up front, Andrew led the way."

Bradley was also pleased with the debut performances of hooker Adrian Flavin and prop Brett Wilkinson, and is hopeful that an injury-free run will see them build momentum.

"We are now going to be at home for our next six games, starting next Friday against the Ospreys.

"Hopefully, we can build a bit of momentum and get the crowds behind us, but we will take it a game at a time," said Bradley.

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