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O’Sullivan, Jones And O’Brien Commit To Ulster

O’Sullivan, Jones And O’Brien Commit To Ulster

Dubliner Eric O'Sullivan runs out at Kingspan Stadium for one of Ulster's BKT United Rugby Championship games earlier this season ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Forwards Eric O’Sullivan and Greg Jones, together with young full-back Shea O’Brien, have signed on with the province ahead of the 2023/24 season.

A product of the Ulster Rugby Academy, the 27-year-old O’Sullivan recently hit the 100-cap milestone for the province against Glasgow Warriors.

Since arriving in Belfast in 2017, the Dublin-born prop has gone onto be a major part of Ulster’s front row, and featured in wins this season which have included a 35-5 victory over the DHL Stormers, the current BKT United Rugby Championship title holders, in front of a home crowd.

With his latest contract extension seeing him remain at Kingspan Stadium until at least July 2024, O’Sullivan said: “This is a really exciting time to be a part of this team, and I’m delighted to commit to Ulster for another year.”

Fellow Academy graduate Jones, who made his debut for the province back in 2017, will also line out for the Ulstermen for at least another year.

Known for his solid work-rate, the versatile 27-year-old adds depth to Dan McFarland’s forward options in a competitive back row.

Speaking about continuing his journey with Ulster, Jones stated: “I’m delighted to be signing on again with Ulster, and remaining part of such a great group of staff and players.”

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old O’Brien sees his current performance under an Ulster Development contract rewarded with a new two-year senior deal.

Coming through the club game, the Newry man first came to the attention of Ulster while playing for City of Armagh RFC, where he won the Bank of Ireland Ulster Senior Cup back in March 2020 with a player-of-the-match performance.

Last weekend O’Brien contributed two tries in a home win over UCC which sees City of Armagh promoted to the top division of the Energia All-Ireland League for next season.

With a bright future ahead at Ulster, O’Brien commented: “I’m delighted to have signed a two-year contract here at Ulster Rugby. I’d like to thank the management and support staff for giving me this opportunity.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at the province this year, and I look forward to helping Ulster Rugby to success in the future.”

On today’s contract extensions, Ulster head coach McFarland added: “It’s great to have Greg and Eric sign on again. Both have contributed a huge amount in their time here and continue to develop year on year.

“Shea is a player with promise who has gained a lot through his experience in the province’s club game, and during his time as a development prospect. I look forward to him continuing that journey with Ulster in the coming years.”