Scotland fly-half Dan Parks heads a cast list of eight Connacht stars leaving the Irish province at the end of the season.
The 66-cap former Glasgow and Cardiff Blues playmaker will leave Galway this summer, after two years at the club. Also leaving are Ireland centre Gavin Duffy, Frank Murphy, Paul O’Donohoe, Aaron Conneely, Brian Murphy, Dave Nolan and James Rae. Head coach Pat Lam said: “Over the last two seasons, Parksy (Dan Parks) in particular has contributed massively to the development of our young back-line and I know they have taken a great deal from the wealth of experience he brought with him.”
Meanwhile, Ross Rennie is to leave Edinburgh at the end of the season after signing a longer-term deal with Bristol, but Stuart McInally will return to Murrayfield after a spell with Andy Robinson’s side.
Rennie, 28, has signed a two-year extension to his current loan deal after 91 appearances in nine seasons with Edinburgh. The 20-times capped Scotland international, who came through the ranks at Edinburgh Academy and Stewart’s Melville FP, said: “Edinburgh is my home town and I love the club but I think the time is right to pursue a new challenge here in Bristol. I’ve enjoyed my time here since arriving on loan in January and believe it’s an exciting time to stay on at the club and push on for a place in the Premiership next season. I’d like to thank everybody at Edinburgh Rugby – I’ve had an incredible time playing there and will hold many fond memories.”
Rennie’s departure opens the door for 22-year-old back-row Hamish Watson – who this week signed a two-year contract extension with the club – to compete for the openside berth with Roddy Grant.
Hooker Stuart McInally, 23, who made 58 appearances for Edinburgh before joining Rennie on loan at Bristol, will return to the capital as planned.
Elsewhere, Byron McGuigan has left Glasgow after almost two years at Scotstoun. The Namibian-born back, who won a Scotland A cap in January, joined the club at the start of the 2012-13 season and made 20 appearances, scoring four tries.
Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend said: “Byron has really developed since he joined us and it was great to see him play for Scotland A earlier this year and score on his debut. We’d like to wish him all the best.”
London Scottish have secured two of the fastest players in English rugby. Winger Miles Mantella has penned a new two-year contract, while fellow winger Matt Williams has agreed to join Scottish from Moseley, also signing a two-year deal.