Jump to main content


Ulster Launch Talent Search Initiative

Ulster Launch Talent Search Initiative

Ulster forwards Stephen Ferris, Johann Muller and Dan Tuohy attended the recent launch of a talent search initiative to discover future ‘giants’ of the game in the province.

‘Ulster’s Giant Challenge’ has been devised by the IRFU, Ulster Rugby and Sport NI – the objective is to provide tall, talented athletes with the opportunity to play professional rugby.

Applicants from all sporting backgrounds can apply to attend a screening day on Saturday, June 25, where they will be assessed on the functional roles of a second row forward.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Successful applicants will then be entered into the Ulster Rugby player development pathway, providing an environment that gives them the best possible opportunity to play professional rugby.

Ulster Rugby has shown its ambition in the last couple of years with a number of high profile signings but this initiative demonstrates their desire to identify and nurture young talent from within the province and further afield.

This season has seen a number of young backs in the Phoenix Ulster Academy make their debuts for the Ulster senior side and this is another step to ensure rugby in the province continues to progress.

Speaking about the project, Ulster Rugby talent ID officer Darryl Callaghan said: “We have identified a gap in certain playing positions in our talent identification network, particularly second row. This has provided us with the opportunity to develop and implement a height-specific talent search campaign.

“We are keen to assess tall young athletes from various sporting backgrounds with the potential and ambition to play professional rugby for Ulster and even Ireland in the future.”

Ulster and Ireland star Stephen Ferris is delighted to be throwing his weight behind the campaign, stating: “When I heard about this project I was very keen to get involved and it is great to see Ulster being proactive in searching for new players.

“I came through the Ulster Rugby player development programme and this is a superb opportunity for a young athlete to prove they are capable of playing professional rugby.”

Criteria for applicants:

– male aged between 15 and 25
– tall for your age
– competing in any team or individual sport
– disciplined, competitive and ambitious

Talent screening:

– A talent screening event will be held on Saturday, June 25 at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown
– Successful applicants will be supplied with further details in an information pack

Applications can be downloaded here. Click here for some frequently asked questions.

Applications should be returned via email to rugbydevelopment@ulsterrugby.com, or by post to: Ulster Rugby, Ravenhill Grounds, 85 Ravenhill Park, Belfast, BT6 0DG. The closing date is Friday, June 17.

For further information please call +442890493222 (ext 239) or email rugbydevelopment@ulsterrugby.com.