As Ireland prepares to face the All Blacks XV and South Africa this weekend, two of Ulster’s own who feature in Andy Farrell’s extended squad have secured their futures with the province until the summer of 2025.
A graduate of the Ulster Rugby Academy, 27-year-old Nick Timoney has gone from strength to strength these past seasons, both literally and figuratively.
Now no stranger to the Ireland set-up, after kickstarting his time in the green jersey with a try against the USA, the versatile back rower has committed to Ulster for at least the next two seasons.
Topping the United Rugby Championship tackle chart last season with a 98% success rate, the 6ft 2in Dubliner has been explicit in his desire to win silverware with the province, and sees achieving this ambition as only a matter of time.
On extending his stay with Ulster, his home for the past seven years, Timoney said: “I’m delighted to be extending my time at Ulster. We’ve got an incredibly exciting group at the moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve over the next couple of years.”
Hooker Rob Herring, who has over 200 caps for Ulster to his name, has also committed the upcoming two years to the province that he and his family now call home.
Following the historic series win in New Zealand, which saw Herring score the try which sealed Ireland’s third Test victory over the All Blacks, the 32-year-old is back on the international stage this weekend.
Responsible for one of the five tries that saw the Ulstermen overcome the Emirates Lions at Ellis Park a fortnight ago, the front row stalwart looks set to call the province’s number 2 jersey his own for the foreseeable future.
Speaking about his decision to stay with Ulster, Herring said: “I’m delighted to sign on again with Ulster, a province I’m really proud to represent.
From players to support staff, Ulster Rugby is full of great people whose standards and ambition to win are very high. That’s something I’m excited to continue to be a part of over the next couple seasons.”
Commenting on the retention of two key members of Ulster’s pack, head coach Dan McFarland stated: “Both Nick and Rob exemplify the pace and physicality that we want to see from our forwards.
“They are first class operators on the pitch, and demonstrate that week in week out for the province, as well as in an international setting.
“I look forward to both playing a key role in driving forward our ambitions in the seasons ahead, with their influence on Ulster Rugby extending far beyond what happens for 80 minutes on the pitch.
“It’s going to be an exciting couple of seasons ahead for these two players, and us as a collective.”