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Olding Signs Long-Term Contract Extension With Ulster

Olding Signs Long-Term Contract Extension With Ulster

Ulster have been boosted by the news that Stuart Olding, widely considered as one of the biggest talents in Irish rugby, has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Kingspan Stadium until the summer of 2019.

Stuart Olding has racked up 39 appearances for Ulster after making his debut in December 2011 against Leinster. He scored his first try for the province in a PRO12 fixture against Glasgow in February 2013, before notching another three in his next six games.

The versatile back (22) made his international bow on the 2013 North American tour, at a time when Les Kiss – now director of rugby at Ulster – was in place in as Ireland head coach on an interim basis. He earned a second Ireland cap the following year, against Georgia, and he marked the occasion with his first international try.

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Olding, who can operate in several positions across the back-line, has overcome two serious knee injuries, the most recent of which came against Cardiff Blues last March.

He announced his return from that setback by clinching a bonus point with a late try in the win over Benetton Treviso last month, in what was his first appearance of the season. He has also started in the recent triumphs over the Newport Gwent Dragons and Glasgow and he played starring roles at inside centre and full-back respectively.

Commenting on his decision to stay at Ulster, Olding said: “I’m delighted to be with Ulster for another few years and it’s a boost to sign the extension so soon after my return from injury. I’ve been unfortunate with injuries over the past couple of seasons but the medical staff and management team here at Ulster have been outstanding and they have provided me with phenomenal support during some tough times.

“I believe Ulster Rugby is in a really good place at the minute and it’s a great organisation to be part of. The set-up here at Kingspan Stadium is first class in terms of the facilities, the quality of players we have – and indeed those that we have coming in, the staff, and the supporters. I look forward to contributing to the success of Ulster over the coming months and years.”

Ulster’s director of rugby Les Kiss welcomed the news that the talented youngster had signed on at Kingspan Stadium.

“To have Stuart committing to Ulster Rugby is another huge boost for us. He has worked incredibly hard to come back from injury and he is starting to recapture some of his best form,” admitted Kiss.

“The determination and character he has shown in returning from his most recent injury speaks volumes about him as an individual and he is exactly the type of person we need within the squad.

“He is one of the most talented players that I have ever worked with and he is a superb asset to this organisation. I’m sure that he will have a massive impact for us over the next few seasons.”

Ulster’s operations director Bryn Cunningham was also happy to secure Olding’s services on a long-term deal, adding: “There is an identified group of young indigenous players that we believe will be the fulcrum of Ulster Rugby for many years to come, driving standards both on and off the pitch. Stuart is one of those players.

“To have a player of his immense talent, highlighted in his recent outing against Glasgow, commit for a further three years, is testament to what we are building and what Stuart wants to be a part of.

“Already an international, and finally over his unfortunate run of injuries, we believe he will now push hard for many more caps in what is a very competitive area.”