Eoin de Butléir is one of the Connacht Academy’s most promising up-and-coming front-row players. He continues to go from strength to strength as he rises through the ranks in the Connacht setup. The last couple of months has seen him make his Connacht Eagles debut, captaining the side after only three games, and most recently he has become more and more involved with the senior squad having been their 24th man for the side’s tour of South Africa and their win over Munster.
De Butléir grew up in Carraroe where began his rugby journey for An Ghaeltacht a club co-founded by his dad. After a lot of begging he made his first appearance on a rugby pitch at the age of seven when his dad reluctantly let him play the last couple of minutes of an under-eights blitz on the Clifden sand pitch.
De Butléir says his dad had a big part to play in getting him to where he is now: “He coached us all the up until under 15s but that was as far as his expertise went, he couldn’t teach us anymore.” This was also the case for An Ghaeltach who couldn’t field teams past under 12s so De Butléir continued to play across town with Galway Corinthians RFC.
Eoin played his school rugby with Scoil Chuimsitheach Chiaráin. When he was in fifth year the team went unbeaten and went on to win the Connacht schools development cup which he holds as his favorite sporting memory due to the comradery felt by winning alongside his childhood friends. At club level, he continued to develop as a player with Galway Corinthians RFC.
He began his journey into the Connacht rugby set up at the age of 16 for the Connacht under 17s and continued playing under 18 and 19 before getting his academy contract.
With older brother Colm already in the already in the senior squad, De Butléir described their good-natured competitive relationship that spurred him on to always try to improve
“It was always good watching him and trying to chase him and always trying to be better than he was, he would always be a huge motivation, even training together during lockdown we were able to push each other.”
De Butléir got his first underage Irish cap at the age of 18 against Italy in the Six Nations having been picked for the squad following a very impressive performance in the underage Inter Pros and following a break due to covid he played every game in the under 20s Six Nations championship. “You had to be on the ball at all times”, says De Butléir as he describes the competitiveness of the International scene.
As he edges closer and closer to making an appearance for the senior squad De Butléir believes that he has what it takes to earn himself a pro contract by next year and he hopes to continue improving and growing with this young team of Connacht players.