Ulster Rugby

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Ulster Rugby
Ulster Rugby Logo
Nickname(s)The Ulstermen
Founded1879; 142 years ago (1879)
LocationBelfast, Northern Ireland
Ground(s)Ravenhill Stadium (Capacity: 18,196)
ChairmanJonny Petrie
Coach(es)Dan McFarland
Captain(s)Iain Henderson
Most capsAndrew Trimble & Darren Cave (229)
Top scorerDavid Humphreys (1,585)
Most triesAndrew Trimble (76)
League(s)United Rugby Championship
2020–212nd (Conference A)
Rainbow Cup
10th
1st kit
2nd kit
3rd kit
Official website
www.ulsterrugby.com
Map of IRFU provincial branches.svg

Ulster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland. They compete in the United Rugby Championship and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

The team represents the IRFU Ulster Branch, which is one of the four primary branches of the IRFU and is responsible for rugby union throughout the geographical Irish province of Ulster, comprising Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone) and three counties in the Republic of Ireland which are Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan.

History[edit]

Foundation (1868–1879)[edit]

A number of clubs were operating in Ulster prior to the foundation of the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Ulster branch. The Belfast-based Northern Ireland F.C., founded in 1868, was the earliest club to operate in the province. Clubs from this era still in existence include Dungannon and Queen's University. The first Irish inter-provincial game took place in 1875 between Ulster and Leinster, with Ulster being the victors.[1] In Ireland's first international match, which was played in 1875 against England, eight Ulster-based players took part. Rugby in Ulster at this time was mostly overseen by the Irish Football Union, with the Northern Football Union of Ireland controlling the game in Belfast. The two unions amalgamated in 1879, with the provincial branches of Ulster, Leinster and Munster being founded as part of the terms of this arrangement.[2] The final Irish provincial side, Connacht, was founded in 1885.[3]

Amateur era (1879–1995)[edit]

During the amateur era Irish players primarily played for their respective clubs, with provincial games effectively treated as Irish trial matches.[4] The provincial teams were also used to provide competitive club opposition for touring international sides. Inter-provincial games were played on an irregular basis but starting in the 1946–47 season, the provinces played against each other in the annual Irish Interprovincial Championship.[3] Ulster won this tournament 26 times in total, with eight of these titles being shared. The team's greatest period of success was in the 1980s and 1990s when they won ten titles in a row.[5][6][7]

Professional success (1999–2006)[edit]

In the 1998–99 season, Ulster became the first Irish province to win the Heineken Cup. They beat French side US Colomiers 21–6 in the final at Lansdowne Road in Dublin.[8]

From 2001 to 2004, the Ulster team was coached by Alan Solomons, a former assistant coach of the Springboks and head coach of The Stormers and Western Province in his native South Africa. It was during this time that Ulster fully embraced the professional era.

Alan Solomons coached Ulster to a three-year unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup.[9] In the 2003–04 season, Ulster finished second in the Celtic League, only overtaken by Llanelli on the final day of the campaign. Two of Ulster's most impressive achievements in this period were a 33–0 win over English giants Leicester Tigers in the Heineken Cup in January 2004, and winning the inaugural Celtic Cup on 20 December 2003, beating Edinburgh in a rain-soaked Murrayfield final.

In July 2004, Solomons departed for Northampton Saints and Mark McCall, former captain of the province and a member of Ulster's European Cup winning squad, took over as Ulster Rugby head coach with European Cup teammate Allen Clarke as his assistant. Despite an initially poor start to the season, the two extended Ulster's unbeaten home record in Europe to four years.[10][11]

Ulster led the Celtic league for most of the 2005–06 season thanks to dominant forward play largely inspired by Australian import Justin Harrison, New Zealand-born Irish scrum-half Isaac Boss, and a rapid maturing of a youthful home-grown three-quarter line. However, inconsistent late form from Ulster, combined with a late run from Leinster, meant that either of those sides could take the title in the final game of the season. In Ulster's final match against the Ospreys with Ulster one point behind, David Humphreys kicked a 40-metre drop goal to clinch the game and the league for Ulster.

Decline (2006–2010)[edit]

Ulster started the 2006–07 season in fine form racking up a number of victories including a 30–3 thrashing of Heineken Cup contenders Toulouse. However, following an abject display losing 29–13 to London Irish, their season deteriorated with a number of poor performances, including several home defeats, leading to a fifth-place finish in the Celtic League and another early exit from Europe.

The team began the 2007–08 season with a terrible run of form. Mark McCall resigned in November following Ulster's embarrassing 32–14 home defeat to Gloucester in the opening round of the 2007–08 Heineken Cup.[12] Assistant coach Steve Williams took temporary charge of the team. Under Williams, Ulster had some initial success, however several defeats left them firmly rooted to the bottom of the Celtic League and out of Europe. In December, former Leinster and Scotland head coach Matt Williams was named Mark McCall's successor as Ulster's head coach. He took charge at the beginning of February 2008, but despite some improved performances, he failed to turn the season around, with Ulster finishing 9th in the 10 team Celtic League.

On 21 May 2009, Matt Williams resigned as Ulster's head coach after finishing 8th in the Celtic League that season.[13] He was replaced by Brian McLaughlin as head coach, with Jeremy Davidson and Neil Doak as his assistants, and former Ulster and Ireland outhalf David Humphreys taking on the role as director of rugby.[13]

The 2009–10 season brought many changes to Ulster, as they got new management staff, a newly improved Heineken Cup campaign including their first ever win in England against Bath Rugby, a new stand at Ravenhill, and new fans as more people started to support the team. But Ulster finished eighth place in the Celtic League again, due to a series of disappointing results in the league since Christmas.

Revival (2010–2014)[edit]

The 2010–11 season was even better for Ulster, as they signed key players including 2007 Rugby World Cup winning Springbok Ruan Pienaar. Ulster reached the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup for the first time since 1999 and finished third in the Celtic League.

The 2011–12 season brought even more success. Ulster beat Edinburgh to reach the Heineken Cup final for the first time in thirteen years.[14] In the final, Ulster lost 14–42 to Leinster at Twickenham Stadium. In the Pro12, Ulster finished sixth after a disappointing finish to the season. Brian McLaughlin did not have his contract renewed as head coach at the end of the season.

For the 2012–13 season, Mark Anscombe was appointed as the new head coach. Major signings included Nick Williams from the now defunct Aironi and Tommy Bowe returning from his four-year stay at the Ospreys. Ulster started the season with 13 consecutive wins in all competitions, making it the longest unbeaten run in their history.[15] It started on 31 August 2012 as they defeated Glasgow Warriors 18–10 in the Pro12 and it ended on 15 December 2012 as they lost 9–10 to Northampton Saints in the Heineken Cup. Despite finishing top of their Heineken Cup Group for the first time since the 1999 triumph, Ulster were defeated 27–16 by Saracens at the quarterfinal stage. Ulster finished top of the Pro12 table thereby giving them a home semi-final against the Scarlets. Ulster defeated the Scarlets 28–17 in the last match in front of the old grandstand before demolition. Due to the redevelopment of Ravenhill, Ulster played the Pro12 final at the RDS Arena in Dublin against Leinster losing 24–18.

The 2013–14 season proved trophyless again. For the first time, Ulster won all their Heineken Cup group games, with away victories against Montpellier and Leicester Tigers being the highlight. They were knocked out at the quarterfinal stage with a 17–15 home defeat to Saracens. The Pro12 season was racked with inconsistency and Ulster finished the league season in fourth place. This set up an away semi-final with Leinster, and for the fourth time in four seasons the season was ended by their old foes with a 13–9 defeat. The season ended with the retirements of captain Johann Muller, centre Paddy Wallace, and flanker Stephen Ferris. Director of Rugby David Humphreys also left the province to take up a similar position at Gloucester Rugby. Following Humphreys' departure, Mark Anscombe was sacked by the province and was replaced by Ireland defence coach Les Kiss on an interim basis.[16]

2014–present[edit]

The 2014–15 season saw Rory Best return to the captaincy, a position that he first held from 2007 to 2011, after the retirement of the now ex-captain Johann Muller.[17] Ulster were knocked out of the new European Champions Cup at the group stage. They finished fourth in the Pro12 but narrowly lost in the playoff semifinal to eventual champions Glasgow Warriors.

2015–16 saw Neil Doak promoted to head coach with Les Kiss returning to the province after the 2015 Rugby World Cup to take up the full-time Director of Rugby role with the province.[18] Ulster were knocked out of the Champions Cup at the group stage despite a memorable back to back win over Toulouse. They finished fourth in the Pro12 but again lost in the playoff semi final, this time to Leinster.

2016–17 was a disappointing season, finishing bottom of their Champions Cup group and finishing 5th in the Pro12. At the end of the season, all-time appearance holder Roger Wilson retired and Ruan Pienaar was controversially not awarded a new contract. Neil Doak and Allen Clarke also left the province being replaced by Jono Gibbes as head coach and Dwayne Peel as assistant coach.

For the 2018–19 season Dan McFarland was brought in as the new head coach.

Previous season summaries[edit]

Domestic League European Cup Domestic / 'A' Cup
Season Competition Final Position (Pool) Points Play-Offs Competition Performance Competition Performance
1995–96 No competition Heineken Cup 4th in pool Interprovincial Championship 2nd
1996–97 No competition Heineken Cup 4th in pool Interprovincial Championship 3rd
1997–98 No competition Heineken Cup 4th in pool Interprovincial Championship 3rd
1998–99 No competition Heineken Cup Champions Interprovincial Championship 2nd
1999–00 No competition Heineken Cup 4th in pool Interprovincial Championship 2nd
2000–01 No competition Heineken Cup 4th in pool Interprovincial Championship 2nd
2001–02 Celtic League 2nd (A) 13 Semi-final Heineken Cup 2nd in pool Interprovincial Championship 2nd
2002–03 Celtic League 3rd (A) 22 Semi-final Heineken Cup 3rd in pool No competition
2003–04 Celtic League 2nd 72 N/A Heineken Cup 3rd in pool Celtic Cup Champions
2004–05 Celtic League 8th 43 N/A Heineken Cup 3rd in pool Celtic Cup Quarter-final
2005–06 Celtic League Champions 75 N/A Heineken Cup 3rd in pool No competition
2006–07 Magners League 5th 55 N/A Heineken Cup 3rd in pool No competition
2007–08 Magners League 9th 29 N/A Heineken Cup 4th in pool No competition
2008–09 Magners League 8th 36 N/A Heineken Cup 3rd in pool No competition
2009–10 Magners League 8th 36 Did not qualify Heineken Cup 2nd in pool British and Irish Cup Semi-final
2010–11 Magners League 3rd 67 Semi-final Heineken Cup Quarter-final British and Irish Cup 5th in pool
2011–12 RaboDirect PRO12 6th 56 Did not qualify Heineken Cup Runner-up British and Irish Cup Quarter-final
2012–13 RaboDirect PRO12 1st 81 Runner-up Heineken Cup Quarter-final British and Irish Cup 2nd in pool
2013–14 RaboDirect PRO12 4th 70 Semi-final Heineken Cup Quarter-final British and Irish Cup 2nd in pool
2014–15 Guinness PRO12 4th 69 Semi-final Champions Cup 3rd in pool British and Irish Cup 3rd in pool
2015–16 Guinness PRO12 4th 69 Semi-final Champions Cup 2nd in pool British and Irish Cup 3rd in pool
2016–17 Guinness PRO12 5th 68 Did not qualify Champions Cup 4th in pool British and Irish Cup Quarter-final
2017–18 Guinness PRO14 4th (B) 62 Did not qualify Champions Cup 3rd in pool British and Irish Cup Quarter-final
2018–19 Guinness PRO14 2nd (B) 63 Semi-final Champions Cup Quarter-final Celtic Cup 3rd in pool
2019–20 Guinness PRO14 2nd (A) 44 Runner-up Champions Cup Quarter-final Celtic Cup Runner-up
2020–21 Guinness PRO14 2nd (A) 64 Did not qualify Challenge Cup* Semi-final Rainbow Cup 10th in pool

Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runner-up

* After dropping into the competition from the Champions Cup/Heineken Cup

Current standings[edit]

United Rugby Championship[edit]

2021–22 United Rugby Championship watch · edit · discuss
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA Try bonus Losing bonus Pts
1 Ireland Leinster 7 6 0 1 219 85 +134 31 10 5 0 29
2 Scotland Edinburgh 7 5 1 1 171 114 +57 23 13 5 1 28
3 Ireland Ulster 7 5 0 2 169 115 +54 23 14 4 1 25
4 Wales Ospreys 7 5 0 2 142 159 -17 11 19 1 0 21
5 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 7 4 0 3 160 138 +22 21 16 3 2 21
6 Ireland Munster 5 4 0 1 149 84 +65 19 9 3 0 19
7 Ireland Connacht 7 3 0 4 196 171 +25 26 12 3 1 16
8 Italy Benetton 7 3 0 4 141 178 –37 18 24 2 2 16
9 Wales Cardiff 5 3 0 2 120 114 +6 12 10 1 1 14
10 South Africa Lions 5 2 0 3 107 120 –13 11 16 2 1 11
11 Wales Scarlets 5 2 0 3 120 160 –40 13 21 2 1 11
12 South Africa Sharks 5 2 0 3 115 129 –14 11 15 0 1 9
13 Wales Dragons 7 1 0 6 131 174 -43 15 19 2 3 9
14 South Africa Stormers 5 1 1 3 79 103 –24 9 13 0 1 7
15 South Africa Bulls 5 1 0 4 65 131 –66 5 13 0 1 5
16 Italy Zebre Parma 5 0 0 5 52 159 –107 6 24 1 0 1
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[19]
  1. number of matches won;
  2. number of matches drawn;
  3. the difference between points for and points against;
  4. the number of tries scored;
  5. the most points scored;
  6. the difference between tries for and tries against;
  7. the fewest red cards received;
  8. the fewest yellow cards received.
Green background indicates teams that are playoff places that top their regional pools and earn a place in the 2022–23 European Champions Cup

Blue background indicates teams that did not top their regional pool but are in play-off places and earn a place in the 2022–23 European Champions Cup
Pink background indicates teams that did not top their regional pool but are in play-off places, and earn a place in the 2022–23 European Rugby Challenge Cup
Yellow background indicates teams that top their regional pool and thus currently in a qualification place in the 2022–23 European Champions Cup, but are not in a play-off place
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2022–23 European Rugby Challenge Cup.

European Rugby Champions Cup[edit]

Pool B

P W D L PF PA Diff TF TA TB LB Pts
France La Rochelle 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
England Exeter Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland Leinster 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
France Montpellier 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
England Bath 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
France Racing 92 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
England Sale Sharks 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland Ulster 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
France Clermont 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
England Northampton Saints 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales Ospreys 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

[20]

Honours[edit]

Crest[edit]

The flag of the Province of Ulster

The current crest was introduced in 2003. The new, stylised crest is made specific to Ulster Rugby as it incorporates the red hand from the provincial flag of Ulster with two rugby balls.[22] The Ulster Rugby crest is on all official club merchandise including replica jerseys.

Stadium[edit]

The Ravenhill Stadium, known for sponsorship reasons as the Kingspan Stadium since 2014, opened in 1923.[23] It has hosted two Rugby World Cup matches, several Ireland national team matches, the 2015 Pro12 Grand Final and many 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup matches, including the final.

The Premium Stand opened in 2009 and the rest of the stadium got redeveloped from 2012 to 2014. After the rest of the redevelopment was completed, the stadium was renamed the Kingspan Stadium.

Current squad[edit]

Ulster Rugby United Rugby Championship squad[a]

Props

Hookers

Locks

Back row

Scrum-halves

Fly-halves

Centres

Wings

Fullbacks

(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players.
* denotes players qualified to play for Ireland on residency or dual nationality.
ST denotes a short-term signing.
Players and their allocated positions from the Ulster Rugby website.[24]
  1. ^ Taking into account signings and departures head of 2021–22 season as listed on List of 2021–22 United Rugby Championship transfers.

Academy squad[edit]

Ulster Rugby Academy squad[a]

Props

  • Ireland George Saunderson (1)

Hookers

  • Ireland James McCormick (2)

Locks

  • Ireland Harry Sheridan (1)

Back row

Scrum-halves

  • Ireland Lewis Finlay (3)
  • Ireland Conor McKee (1)

Fly-halves

  • Ireland James Humphreys (1)

Centres

Wings

  • Ireland Conor Rankin (3)

Fullbacks

  • None currently named
(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players, number in brackets indicates players stage in the three-year academy cycle.
* denotes players qualified to play for Ireland on residency or dual nationality.
Players and their allocated positions from the Ulster Rugby website.[25]
  1. ^ Taking into account signings and departures head of 2021–22 season as listed on List of 2021–22 United Rugby Championship transfers.

Staff[edit]

Position Name Nationality
Operations Director Bryn Cunningham  Ireland
Head coach Dan McFarland  England
Assistant Coach Dan Soper  New Zealand
Defence Coach Jared Payne  Ireland
Forwards Coach Roddy Grant  Scotland
Skills Coach Craig Newby  New Zealand

Results versus representative sides[edit]

Scores and results list Ulster's points tally first.
Date Opponent Location Result Score Notes
December 1912 South Africa South Africa Belfast Lost 0–19 Match Report
5 November 1924 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 6–28
December 1931 South Africa South Africa Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 3–30 Match Report
30 November 1935 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Draw 3–3 Match Report
1 December 1951 South Africa South Africa Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 5–27
2 January 1954 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Draw 5–5 Match Report
30 November 1957 Australia Australia Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 0–9 Match Report
28 January 1961 South Africa South Africa Belfast Lost 6–19
25 January 1964 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 5–24
29 November 1969 South Africa South Africa Ravenhill, Belfast Draw 0–0
18 November 1972 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 6–19
3 November 1973 Argentina Argentina XV Ravenhill, Belfast Won 23–13
16 November 1974 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 15–30
15 November 1975 Australia Australia Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 25–30
7 November 1978 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 7–23
11 October 1980 Romania Romania Belfast Lost 13–15
14 November 1981 Australia Australia Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 6–12
14 November 1984 Australia Australia Ravenhill, Belfast Won 15–13 Match Report
23 October 1985 Fiji Fiji Belfast Won 23–9
2 November 1988 Samoa Western Samoa Ravenhill, Belfast Won 47–15
21 November 1989 New Zealand New Zealand Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 3–21
24 October 1992 Australia Australia Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 11–35
16 November 1996 Australia Australia Ravenhill, Belfast Lost 26–39
10 August 1998 Morocco Morocco Ravenhill, Belfast Won 50–5 Match Report
10 November 2008 Portugal Portugal Ravenhill, Belfast Won 62–6 Match Report
9 November 2018 Uruguay Uruguay Ravenhill, Belfast Won 21–5

Records against URC and European Cup opponents[edit]

Against Played Won Drawn Lost % Won
Italy Aironi 8 8 0 0 100.00%
France ASM Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 50.00%
England Bath 6 6 0 0 100.00%
Italy Benetton 26 23 2 1 88.46%
France Biarritz 6 2 0 4 33.33%
France Bordeaux 2 0 0 2 00.00%
Scotland Border Reivers 8 8 0 0 100.00%
France Bourgoin 4 1 0 3 25.00%
Wales Bridgend 1 1 0 0 100.00%
France CA Brive 1 0 0 1 0.00%
Wales Caerphilly 1 1 0 0 100.00%
Scotland Caledonia Reds 1 1 0 0 100.00%
Wales Cardiff Blues 33 19 1 13 57.58%
Wales Cardiff RFC 5 3 0 2 60%
France Castres 2 2 0 0 100.00%
Wales Celtic Warriors 2 2 0 0 100.00%
South Africa Cheetahs 4 2 1 1 50%
Ireland Connacht* 40 28 1 11 70%
Wales Dragons 36 23 2 11 63.89%
Wales Ebbw Vale RFC 2 2 0 0 100.00%
Scotland Edinburgh 42 29 1 12 69.05%
England Exeter Chiefs 2 1 0 1 50.00%
Scotland Glasgow Warriors 42 23 1 18 54.76%
England Gloucester 5 1 0 4 20%
England Harlequins 8 6 0 2 75%
France La Rochelle 2 1 0 1 50.00%
England Leicester Tigers 11 7 0 4 63.64%
Ireland Leinster* 48 9 3 36 18.75%
South Africa Lions 1 1 0 0 100%
England London Irish 2 1 0 1 50.00%
France Montpellier 2 2 0 0 50.00%
Ireland Munster* 39 18 2 19 46.15%
Wales Neath RFC 3 2 0 1 66.67%
England Northampton Saints 6 3 0 3 50%
Wales Ospreys 39 20 0 19 51.28%
France Oyonnax 2 2 0 0 100.00%
Wales Pontypridd 1 1 0 0 100.00%
France Racing 92 2 1 0 1 50.00%
England Saracens 8 1 0 7 12.5%
Wales Scarlets 45 23 3 19 51.11%
France Stade Français 11 5 0 6 45.45%
South Africa Southern Kings 5 5 0 0 100.00%
Wales Swansea RFC 4 2 0 2 50.00%
France Toulon 2 0 0 2 0.00%
France Toulouse 10 5 1 5 45.45%
France US Colomiers 1 1 0 0 100%
England Wasps 6 2 0 6 33.33%
Italy Zebre 16 14 0 2 87.5%
Total 562 321 18 223 57.12%
 *Matches played as part of the Irish Interprovincial Rugby Championship, separate from Celtic League fixtures, are not included in this table.
 †Results do not include a match between the Benetton and Ulster declared a 0–0 draw due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor do they include the cancelled
Ulster vs Scarlets Rainbow Cup fixture in which Scarlets were awarded victory due to positive Covid tests in the Ulster squad.[26][27]

Updated as of 7 December 2021.

Head coaches (professional era)[edit]

As of 7 December 2021[note 1][note 2]
Coach Season(s) GP* W D L Win % Loss % Championships / Notes
1995/96 – 1997/98 23 7 0 16 30.4% 69.6%
Ireland Harry Williams 1998/99 – 2000/01 41 18 2 21 43.9% 51.2% European Cup (1998-99)
South Africa Alan Solomons 2001/02 – 2003/04 63 41 2 20 65.1% 31.7% 2003-04 Celtic Cup
Ireland Mark McCall 2004/05 – 2007/08 (mid-season) 91 46 3 42 50.5% 46.2% 2005-06 Celtic League
Wales Steve Williams 2007/08 (mid-season) 8 2 0 6 25% 75% Interim
Australia Matt Williams 2007/08 (mid-season) – 2008/09 37 15 1 21 40.5% 56.8%
Ireland Brian McLaughlin 2009/10 – 2011/12 93 54 2 37 58.1% 39.8%
New Zealand Mark Anscombe 2012/13 – 2013/14 69 47 5 17 68.1% 24.6%
Australia Les Kiss 2014/15 5 3 1 1 60% 20% Interim
Ireland Neil Doak 2014/15 (mid-season) – 2016/17 85 48 2 35 56.5% 41.2%
New Zealand Jono Gibbes 2017/18 30 17 2 11 56.7% 36.7%
England Dan McFarland 2018/19 – 93 58 3 32 62.4% 34.4%
Total 1995 – 638 356 23 259 55.8% 40.6%
 *Games played are inclusive of matches played against touring international sides and friendlies against club opposition.

Personnel honours and records[edit]

Bold indicates active player

All Competitions[edit]

(correct as of 7 December 2021)[28][29]

European Rugby Champions Cup[edit]

Category Player Totals Years
Tries Andrew Trimble 27 2004–2018
Appearances Rob Herring 82 2012–present
Points David Humphreys 564 1996–2008

(correct as of 8 March 2021)[29]

United Rugby Championship[edit]

Category Player Totals Years
Tries Craig Gilroy 57 2010–present
Appearances Darren Cave 180 2007–2019
Points David Humphreys 786 1996–2008
Pens & Cons David Humphreys 272 1996–2008

(correct as of 25 October 2021)[30]

Pro14 Team of the Year

Competition Irish players Overseas players
2006–07[31] Australia Justin Harrison
2007–08[32] Tommy Bowe
2008–09[33]
2009–10[34]
2010–11[35] South Africa Ruan Pienaar
2011–12[36]
2012–13[37] Luke Marshall New Zealand Nick Williams
2013–14[38] Andrew Trimble South Africa Johann Muller
2014–15[39] Craig Gilroy, Rory Best South Africa Franco van der Merwe
2015–16[40] Craig Gilroy (2)
2016–17[41] South Africa Ruan Pienaar (2), New Zealand Charles Piutau
2017–18[42] John Cooney
2018–19[43] John Cooney (2), Stuart McCloskey
2019–20[44] John Cooney (3), Stuart McCloskey (2)
2020–21[45] John Cooney (4), Michael Lowry, Eric O'Sullivan South Africa Marcell Coetzee

Pro14 Player of the Year

Competition Irish players Overseas players
2010–11[46] South Africa Ruan Pienaar
2012–13[47] New Zealand Nick Williams
2016–17[41] New Zealand Charles Piutau
2020–21[48] South Africa Marcell Coetzee

Pro14 Individual Awards

Category Player Season Total
Top Try Scorer Tommy Bowe (Joint) 2005–06 10
Craig Gilroy (Joint) 2015–16 10
Marcell Coetzee (Joint) 2020–21 9
Top Point Scorer David Humphreys 2001–02 122
John Cooney 2017–18 175
John Cooney (2) (Joint) 2020–21 113
Young Player of the Year Luke Marshall 2012–13 N/A
Try of the Season Andrew Trimble (Ulster vs Connacht) 2012–13 N/A
Craig Gilroy (Ulster vs Scarlets) 2014–15 N/A
Ruan Pienaar (Ulster vs Glasgow Warriors) 2016–17 N/A

Pro14 Team Awards

British & Irish Lions[edit]

The following Ulster players, in addition to representing Ireland, have also represented the British & Irish Lions.[49]

  • Bold indicates player was tour captain for the year in question

Note: Phillip Matthews played for the Lions in their victory against France in Paris. The game formed part of the celebrations of the bi-centennial of the French Revolution, but did not count as a "formal" Lions international.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Original research sourced from https://www.ulsterrugby.com/fixtures-results/
  2. ^ "Statistics".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter, Richard (1999). The Origins and Development of Football in Ireland. Belfast: Ulster Historical Foundation. p. 6. ISBN 0-901905-93-3.
  2. ^ "History of the Irish Rugby Football Union". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Connacht Rugby". Galway Advertiser. 28 April 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Ray McLoughlin - Connacht Rugby Legend". Connacht Rugby Supporters. 25 March 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Irish Rugby 1874–1999 — A History: INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS page 442". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Irish Rugby 1874–1999 — A History: INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS page 443". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Irish Rugby 1874–1999 — A History: INTERPROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS page 444". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 7 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Rugby Union: European Cup final - Ulster take a red-carpet ride". The Independent. 31 January 1999. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Alan Solomons Director of Rugby". Worcester Warriors. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Gloucester lose their foothold in Belfast bog". The Guardian. 8 January 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  11. ^ "Ulster 19 - 10 Saracens". The Guardian. 10 December 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Ulster coach quits". Sky Sports. 13 November 2007.
  13. ^ a b "Williams leaves Ulster". Sky Sports. 21 May 2009.
  14. ^ "London now calling for Ulster". Irish Times. 29 April 2012.
  15. ^ "https://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/report?gameId=167631&league=271937". espnscrum. Retrieved 21 April 2021. External link in |title= (help)
  16. ^ http://ulsterrugby.com/News/LatestNews/TabId/149/ArtMID/793/ArticleID/1604/Ulster-Rugby-Update.aspx[bare URL]
  17. ^ "Rory Best relishing return to Ulster captaincy". Irish times. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Neil Doak named Ulster coach with Les Kiss to return after World Cup". Irish times. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  19. ^ Competition Rule 3.1.4 "Summary of Key Rules". Pro14. Retrieved 4 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Pool Tables". Heineken Champions Cup. EPCR. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Cartha / Glasgow City Sevens". 7 June 2019.
  22. ^ "News". Ulster Rugby.
  23. ^ "KINGSPAN STADIUM". Ulster Rugby. Retrieved 21 April 2021.
  24. ^ "Ulster First Team". Ulster Rugby. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  25. ^ "ULSTER RUGBY ACADEMY SQUAD FOR 2021/22 SEASON CONFIRMED". Ulster Rugby. 12 August 2021. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  26. ^ "Ulster's postponed Benetton tie could go down as draw after PRO14 make coronavirus announcement". Belfasttelegraph. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
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