Irish international winger Craig Gilroy and Academy back row forward Nick Timoney have both put pen to paper on extended deals at Ulster Rugby.
Gilroy has agreed to an extension that will keep him in the Province until 2021, while Timoney has been rewarded with a senior contract.
Gilroy was a two-time Ulster Schools’ Cup winner with Methodist College, before developing his game in the club scene with Bangor RFC and Dungannon RFC.
He burst into the professional arena as an Academy player in the 2010/11 season, scoring eight Celtic League tries. He has since become the youngest Ulster player to reach the 100 and 150 cap milestones and he has scored 57 tries in his 158 appearances to date.
The 26-year-old has been in particularly impressive form this term, with 9 tries in 9 appearances so far.
Gilroy marked his Ireland debut with a try against Argentina in November 2012 and has scored five tries in 10 international appearances, including a hat-trick in his last outing against Italy in the 2017 Six Nations.
On signing the new deal, Gilroy commented:
“As a young rugby player growing up supporting Ulster, it was a tremendous honour to represent this Province. There’s no better feeling than running out at Kingspan Stadium and scoring tries for Ulster so I am delighted to agree a long-term deal to stay here, with hopefully my best rugby years to look forward to.”
Timoney, a former Irish U20 and 7s international, joined the Ulster Academy in 2015. Like Gilroy, the Dublin native won two Provincial Schools’ Cups during his time at Blackrock College, including a 2014 success as captain.
He made his Ulster senior debut against Cardiff in April 2017 and earned two more caps at the tail end of last season, then stormed into the 2017/18 campaign with a brace of tries in a Man of the Match display against Dragons. The 22-year-old has made 12 appearances so far this season.
“It’s been a really exciting time for me recently, between getting to play regularly and now moving up to a full contract,” said Timoney. “I feel like I have fitted in well here at Ulster and I want to keep progressing and be a real asset to the team.”