Ulster Rugby have announced nine new contract for members of their academy. Eric O’Sullivan, Tom O’Toole, Michael Lowry and Angus Curtis have been upgraded from academy status and now have penned senior contracts with the province, while Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Angus Kernohan, Zack McCall and Marcus Rea have all extended their academy contracts.
Dan McFarland has shown a willingness to give young players a chance with the senior team this year, with a combined total of 111 appearances from academy players in both the Guinness Pro14 and the Heineken Champions Cup.
23 year-old loosehead prop, Eric O’Sullivan, leads the way with 26 caps for the province this year. Just behind him on 23 caps is fellow prop Tom O’Toole. Angus Kernohan (18 caps), Michael Lowry (17 Caps) and Robert Baloucoune (13) also all featured regularly for the province this term.
Ulster have also made five new signing for next term, the most high profile of which is Ireland and Lions prop Jack McGrath, who is arriving from Leinster. Promising young out-half Bill Johnston is also making the journey north from Munster. Aussie International second-row Sam Carter will add his height to the squad and New Zealander, Matt Faddes, who can cover a number of positions in the back-line has been signed from the Highlanders, while finally South African born prop Gareth Milasinovich is arriving from Wourcester Warriors, but is Irish qualified via his maternal grandfather Norman McFarland who has previously played for Ulster.