Ulster Rugby have announced that Jacob Stockdale has signed a new deal with the province, which will keep him at Kingspan Stadium until the summer of 2020.
Jacob Stockdale began his rugby journey at Ballynahinch RFC minis and was further nurtured at Wallace High School. He entered the Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy upon leaving school in 2014 and played his club rugby with Queen’s University.
The pacy and powerful back represented Ireland at two World Rugby Under-20 Championships, making a significant impact at both tournaments, including the run to the 2016 final. Now attached again to Ballynahinch, he made his Ulster senior debut in January 2016 in a 32-13 away success over Benetton Rugby.
The 21-year-old has scored 17 tries in his 37 Ulster appearances so far and he has eight in 13 games this season. His excellent provincial form was rewarded with a call-up to the Ireland squad for last year’s summer tour, during which he made a try-scoring debut against the USA, before also featuring in one of the wins over Japan.
Following the November Internationals and the opening two weekends of the Six Nations, Stockdale now has a six tries in as many games for Ireland, including a brace of scores in the recent win over Italy at the Aviva Stadium.
Commenting on his new contract, he said: “As a young lad from Ulster, I’ve grown up watching the province and to get to pull on the white jersey is an honour for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to play with some really top class players and learn from them, as well as play with guys that I have been friends with for a long time.
“Hopefully I can continue to improve at Ulster and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team over the next few seasons.”
Ulster’s operations director Bryn Cunningham was delighted to have secured Stockdale’s services, stating: “Jacob’s rise has been incredible. He was earmarked as a future international from a young age and the excellent coaching that he received at Wallace High School, Queen’s University RFC and Ballynahinch RFC have helped him successfully step up into our Academy and ultimately the professional game.
“At 6 foot, 3 inches and 16 stone, he has a real physical presence on the wing, but he also has pace to burn and great skills, including a strong kicking game. In addition to this superb natural ability, he works extremely hard to improve all aspects of his game, and with his future now secure, he can focus on continuing his development.
“This news follows the announcement of long-term contract extensions for Luke Marshall, Kieran Treadwell, Rob Herring, Craig Gilroy and Nick Timoney in recent months, which is positive for the long-term future of the province.”