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Izuchukwu And Stewart Commit To Ulster Until 2026

Izuchukwu And Stewart Commit To Ulster Until 2026

Cormac Izuchukwu wins a lineout for Ulster during their BKT United Rugby Championship encounter with Connacht earlier in the season ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Cormac Izuchukwu and Tom Stewart, following their involvement with Emerging Ireland in South Africa recently, have both committed their futures to the province until at least 2026.

Making an impression since he arrived into the Ulster Rugby Academy set-up in 2020, the 6ft 7in Izuchukwu is a talent that is hard to overlook, with the province keen to add to the ten caps he has already notched up with a new three-year contract.

With experience in the Ireland Sevens set-up, the 22-year-old lock made his senior debut for Ulster against Glasgow Warriors in February 2021, backing it up with his first start a month later at home to Zebre.

Now back in action after an injury last season kept him out of action for over a year, the Tullamore native commented: “It’s so exciting to play for Ulster having come through the Academy, and even more so when there are young, world class players here.

“We have our ambitions set on silverware, so I’m looking forward to what we can achieve together in the time ahead.”

Izuchukwu’s Emerging Ireland team-mate, Stewart, will also be looking to add to his tally of Ulster and national caps in the years ahead.

After showcasing his talent in the province’s recent victory over Munster at Thomond Park with a try-scoring performance which also saw him top the stats for defenders beaten in round 7, the sky is the limit for this talented hooker.

Success came early for the former Belfast Royal Academy pupil, who was crowned the Danske Bank Ulster Schools Senior Player of the Year in 2019.

Stewart kicked off the BKT United Rugby Championship season in style with his first senior start for Ulster, a try, and a player-of-the-match performance against Connacht in September.

Speaking about what he sees in his future with Ulster, the 21-year-old front rower said: “It’s an honour to re-sign with my home province, and to push on with my professional career. I’m excited to be a part of what’s to come for Ulster Rugby in the next few years.”

With today’s news adding to the raft of young talent in his Ulster squad, head coach Dan McFarland noted: “Cormac and Tom typify the young and exciting talent putting their hands up to be selected at Ulster, and in an international setting.

“They both came through the Ulster Rugby Academy in a pipeline that feeds players of their quality directly into our senior set-up.”