Robin Copeland has confirmed that he is leaving Connacht to join the French club ProD2 Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente for a three-year contract.
This appears to be the last relay station for Wexford number eight, whose career began at Leinster Academy and hosted Plymouth Albion, Rotherham Titans, Cardiff Blues and Munster before joining Connacht two seasons ago.
Announcing his decision on his Twitter feed, Copeland said, “One adventure ends and another begins. I loved my stay in Galway with Connacht rugby, but unfortunately my stay there ended, good memories and great people!
“From the moment I got to the door, it felt like home, and the atmosphere that the coaches, staff and players create is one of the best I have ever had. I really liked going to work every day, even when things didn’t go as planned, which, of course, in sports, they rarely do. “
Wishing Andy Friend and the team all the best for next season “and I hope they continue to do great things,” added Copeland: “For me, my next step is a place I always have wanted to play, France. The opportunity to explore French rugby and French culture is one that I cannot pass up. “
Located in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and inside Bordeaux, the new Copeland team plays its home games at the Chanzy stadium, with a capacity of 8,000, in Angoulême, a city of 40,000 inhabitants.
The club is the result of a merger between the Sporting Club of Angoulême Rugby and the Rugby Club Soyaux in 2010, and has won three promotions of Federal 3 in seven seasons to spend the last four years in ProD2. They placed seventh, just four points behind Biarritz and the last in the playoffs when the season was abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Copeland won a cap in the 49-7 victory over Georgia at Aviva Stadium in November 2014, leaving the bench for the last quarter and winning the turnover that led to the selection of trials for the Ireland during the day.
Injuries have undermined Copeland’s career, particularly in recent seasons with Munster and Connacht, and since he has been limited to just 18 appearances (including 11 starts) in his two seasons with the province of l ‘West, a three-year deal makes sense for a 32- Age.
His only try for Connacht was memorable, completing this remarkable victorious comeback against Gloucester in the Heineken Champions Cup at Sportsground last December.
The news of the departure of Copeland comes in the wake of Connacht confirming the signatures of the center Sammy Arnold and the flank Conor Oliver of Munster, as well as products of the Leinster academy, the propeller Jack Aungier and the lock Oisín Dowling .