As pre-season kicks-off this week, Ulster Rugby has confirmed the line-up for its Senior Men’s squad ahead of the 2021/22 United Rugby Championship and Heineken Champions Cup campaigns.
The province has named a squad of 36 fully-contracted players and seven Development players – 41 of which are Irish-qualified, with 30 players having come through the Ulster Rugby Academy pathway or Ulster club system.
A raft of contract renewals earlier this year saw 27 players re-commit to the province for the season ahead, and beyond for many.
This season’s Development players, all of whom are products of the Ulster Rugby Academy system – Nathan Doak, Aaron Sexton, Callum Reid, David McCann, Tom Stewart, Ethan McIlroy and Cormac Izuchukwu – are already familiar faces to Ulster fans given their contribution to both the Senior and A teams last season, as well as on the international stage.
Supporters can once again look forward to ‘Standing Up’ for the squad that enjoyed success on the pitch last season, despite the challenging circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic – with highs including 14 wins out of 16 in the domestic league and reaching a European semi-final.
Commenting on his squad, Head Coach, Dan McFarland, said:
“It’s great to see the continuity within the squad as we move forward. These players have been integral to our progress so far, and I am very much looking forward to working with them over the forthcoming year.
“We’re looking forward to new challenges, including the United Rugby Championship and the arrival of the South African teams, which we will meet head-on.
“The return of our fans to Kingspan Stadium is also something that we are relishing the thought of. The opportunity to once again hear the roar of the home crowd will be a special moment for us all to share together.”
Details of the Ulster Rugby Academy squad will be released in due course.
Ulster Rugby Senior Men’s squad for 2021/22 season:
Iain Henderson* (Captain)
* denotes players developed through the Ulster Rugby Academy or Ulster club system.