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2020-21 Autumn Nations Cup Georgia Men International Rugby Men Ireland Men

Autumn Nations Cup: Teams up for Ireland v Georgia.

The teams are up for the final Pool A match in the Nations Cup featuring Ireland and Georgia. The match, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, kicks off a 14:00 on Sunday evening, 29th November and will be shown live on C4 and Amazon Prime. The Ireland side features Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale, Stuart McCloskey, Billy Burns,…

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2020-21 Autumn Nations Cup

Explaining the Autumn Nations Cup

The inaugural Autumn Nations Cup kicks off on Friday night as the unions count the losses of cancelled summer tours and rescheduled Six Nations matches due to COVID-19. An elongated international window spells trouble for the PRO14 with sides without their internationals for a further three weeks. While the IRFU received €18m in emergency funding,…

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2013-14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: No Hogg as Ulster opt for Louis Ludik.

South African fullback, Louis Ludik, has agreed a two-year deal to join Ulster Rugby. The 27 year-old former Sharks and Golden Lions back has played 76 Super Rugby matches and joins Ulster Rugby from French Pro D2 side Agen. He won two Currie Cups in his three-year spell with the Sharks and was included in…

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2013-14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: Franco Van Der Merwe confirmed.

So many rumours doing the rounds it’s like the script from the old 70’s/80’s sitcom Soap, “Confused – you won’t be after this weeks episode of Ravenhill Rumours!” lol Ulster confirmed the signing of Franco Van der Merwe as a replacement for Johann Muller. It appears that Louis Ludick will be next which would make…

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2013-14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: Lutton and Andrew agree contracts.

Tighthead prop Ricky Lutton and fullback Ricky Andrew have signed full-time professional contracts at Ulster Rugby. Lutton, who is 28, has signed a two-year deal, while 24 year-old Andrew has agreed terms on a 12-month contract. ??A three time Oxford Blue, Lutton was on the winning side in the 2008 Varsity match and continued his…

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2013-14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: Herbst confirmed but five more to leave.

As we’d predicted a month ago to the day in “Is there to be another dip in the Shark Tank?” Ulster have confirmed that Sharks tighthead Wiehahn Herbst will in fact be joining Ulster. Unfortunately the other player we mentioned at the time, Keegan Daniel, won’t be joining as he has subsequently agreed a move to…

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2013-14 Ulster

Ireland’s Parisian Triumphs.

Irish Rugby historian Gary Watton has dug into the archives to review Ireland’s past triumphs in Paris. You can view more of Gary’s excellent work here http://ireland.rugbynetwork.net. Becomingly increasingly and frustratingly rare, Ireland’s victories in Paris are worth noting, as a means of inspiring our imminent expedition to the big capital on the Seine. Here follows a regrettably brief…

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2013-14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: One more year for Anscombe!

Mark Anscombe has signed a one-year contract extension with Ulster Rugby meaning that he will be Head Coach of the Province until at least June 2015. Anscombe joined Ulster in the summer of 2012 and started his tenure by guiding the team to an unbeaten 16 game run. In that first season he went on…

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2013-14 Ballpark Features

Ballpark: THE EMPIRE STRIKES HACK

Parky has got off his bike for long enough to pen an article on the changing face of Ravenhill. Good to have him back but is “The Force” still with him …

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2013-14 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster Rugby squad to hold open training sessions in Donegal Town and Strabane

Ulster Rugby fans will have the chance to meet their heroes next week when the squad holds open training sessions in Donegal Town and Strabane. Mark Anscombe’s players will visit Donegal Town RFC on Wednesday morning (31st July, 10.30am – 12pm) before traveling to Strabane RFC for an open training session on Thursday 1st August…

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2013-14 Editorial Features

FRU: Don’t Go Gently!

2012-13 has been a big season for Irish Women’s Rugby, Mark Anscombe and Joe Schmidt however, 2013-14 may be much more important for all concerned! [more]

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2012-13 Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: Stephen Ferris signs contract extension with Ulster and Ireland

A degree of clarity has been provided about the immediate future of Stephen Ferris, but whether we see him an Ulster shirt again is still anyone’s guess as the statement released by Ulster Rugby yesterday afternoon only takes us to the end of 2013. There is no coincidence that this period is the same as…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: Payne signs for three more!

Ulster fullback, Jared Payne, has signed a new three-year deal with the club that will see him remain at Ravenhill until at least the summer of 2016. Payne, who is 27, was today selected in the Barbarians squad to face England and the British and Irish Lions. He joined Ulster from the Auckland Blues two…

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Editorial Features

FRU: Weekly Wrap!

So much travelling these days that some of the main stories are passing me by so I thought I’d catch up, in the old FRU style, on what’s been happening in the wild and wacky world of Ulster Rugby! Big in Japan! Some of the Southern trash press, well the Irish Independent, appear to have been chosen by Cornerflag as…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

Ulster: Trimble signs for two more years!

Ulster winger, Andrew Trimble, has signed a new national contract with the IRFU which will see him remain at Ravenhill until at least the summer of 2015. Trimble, a graduate of the Hughes Insurance Ulster Rugby Academy, made his senior debut for Ulster against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on 9th September 2005. The…

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ERCC Ulster Ulster Rugby

Heineken Cup: Ulster to face Saracens

Ulster have been paired with English Premiership side Saracens in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. The winner of the game will then have home advantage in the semi-final of the competition against either Toulon or Leicester Tigers. Despite having won five of their six Pool games, including a first-ever competitive win in France, Mark…

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Editorial Features

When is a ‘Head Coach’ not a Head Coach?

I remember an article by Liam Toland, after Declan Kidney, in order to try to head off calls for him to appoint an outsider as an attack coach, instead appointed Les Kiss – the defence coach – to moonlight as the attack coach as well. So Liam said something along the lines of ‘In my…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

William’s signing confirmed, plus a couple of others.

Ulster Rugby has today confirmed the signing of back row Nick Williams on a two year contract. Weighing 120kgs, he is an intimidating presence on the field and is regarded as one of the most explosive ball carriers in Europe. The 28 year old had a successful career in his homeland, making 37 Super Rugby…

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Ballpark Features

THE WAITING GAME

Time Waits for Nothing There’s something in the air In Belfast. The oul timers will recognise it as a feint stirring of secreted passion amongst the ordinary town folk of forgotten dreams and memories. Through the past weeks they’ve been absorbed in celebrating disaster, though not quite going overboard about the sinking of the ship…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

Wannenburg to leave

Ulster Rugby today confirmed that back-row forward Pedrie Wannenburg will leave the club at the end of this season. Pedrie, who has represented the Springboks on 20 occasions, joined Ulster ahead of the start of 2010-11 from the Blue Bulls franchise in South Africa. The opportunity to bring him to Belfast arose when Ulster’s deal…

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Ballpark Features

POSTCARDS FROM THE WINDOW TO MY WORLD

Dear Reader, The thunder, dash, cut & thrust and above all the passion of Heineken recedes into a muted interlude heralding the rumbling approach of the RBS Six Nations. The respective corporate sponsors sum up the respective tournaments for me, with the Heineken all fizz & splash, refresh-e-ment, buzz and bubbling over with verve. The…

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Ulster Ulster Rugby

McLaughlin’s long term role confirmed.

Ulster Rugby today confirmed that the club will appoint a new Head Coach for the 2012-13 season, with Brian McLaughlin moving to a senior coaching position within the Ulster Academy, on a permanent contract. Ulster Director of Rugby David Humphreys today addressed the media speculation that surfaced last week around Brian McLaughlin’s future as Head…

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Editorial Features

The Mote: Memories of ’99. Part 1

With tension rising before yet another “Biggest Game Ever” for Ulster, the mote takes us back to when games were games and supporters were supporters as he re-lives the glorious European campaign of  the 1998-99 season. Big games – you youngsters ‘aint seen nothing yet! Part two next week! A recent thread on the UAFC forum…

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Features FRU Fun

The All FRU World Domination Meter!

Christmas is a time of year when many companies carry out the dreaded reviews of Personal Development Plans (PDP’s) or Personal Performance Indicators (PPI’s) as most bosses struggle to wangle the scoring so that their favourites continue to get the bonuses while the rest are left to mutter about backstabbing bastards and injustice. Oh Christmas!…