With a combined total of nearly 500 caps for the province, Ulster Rugby will recognise the 10 senior men’s players confirmed as leaving at the conclusion of the current season.
Their BKT United Rugby Championship quarter-final against Connacht at Kingspan Stadium on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm) will offer Ulster supporters the opportunity to say a fond farewell to the players confirmed by the province as leavers:
Craig Gilroy (212)
Rob Lyttle (64)
Jordi Murphy (63)
Sam Carter (57)
Duane Vermeulen (34)
Gareth Milasinovich (23)
Jeffery Toomaga-Allen (13)
Rory Sutherland (11)
Declan Moore (3)
Frank Bradshaw-Ryan (1)
On the players departing the province at the end of the current campaign, Ulster head coach Dan McFarland said: “All of the players moving on from Ulster can be rightly proud of what they have given to our province, both on and off the pitch.
“It seems fitting that we get to recognise their contribution to the province in front of a home crowd at Kingspan Stadium on one of the biggest nights of our season.
“I know the supporters will join me, and the wider playing group and staff at Ulster, in thanking the guys for the part they have played in our ambitions as a squad, and some unforgettable memories for us all when they lined-out in the white jersey.”
Players will meet supporters, sign autographs, and pose for photos outside the players’ entrance at the back of the Grandstand, from approximately 15 minutes after full-time on Friday.
Tickets are still available for Friday’s interprovincial clash. Visit ulster.rugby/urcquarterfinal for more information.
ULSTER RUGBY – DEPARTING PLAYERS AT END OF 2022/23 SEASON:
A ‘one club’ man, fan favourite Craig Gilroy announced last month that he was moving on from his home province that he has supported since he was a child.
The fleet-footed winger became one of Ulster’s most important players since making his senior debut when he was 19 against Cardiff. ‘Gilly’ has played over 200 times for the Ulstermen, making 10 Ireland appearances during that time, and will be remembered as one of Ulster’s finest wingers and top try scorers.
Donaghcloney man Rob Lyttle leaves his home province after making his debut back in 2016 having come through the Ulster Academy, playing with Dromore RFC minis and his school rugby with RBAI.
Rob has played over 60 times for Ulster, and the winger will be remembered for his finishing skills, with an impressive try scoring rate throughout his senior career. This includes his recent crossing of the whitewash in an important home win over Sale Sharks in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup.
Jordi Murphy, who joined Ulster from provincial rivals Leinster in 2018, recently announced that he was retiring after an impressive professional career.
The versatile forward quickly made himself a prominent member of Dan McFarland’s side since joining. Jordi can also be proud of his international career with 30 caps for Ireland, including the historic match against New Zealand in Chicago where he scored a famous try.
Former Wallaby Sam Carter leaves Ulster after serving with distinction during his time with the province. The Tamworth-born lock joined Ulster in 2019, after nine years playing Super Rugby with the Brumbies.
Carter made 16 appearances for Australia and was utilised as an important squad member during his four years with the province, captaining the team on a number of occasions. He scored three tries for Ulster this season.
Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok Duane Vermeulen surprised many in the rugby world when he joined the province from the Vodacom Bulls in 2021.
During his time at Ulster, Vermeulen has quickly become a fan favourite with his all-action performances becoming a regular highlight at Kingspan Stadium.
Duane captained Ulster to important wins away against South African opposition earlier this season, a country where he is held in high esteem after an outstanding international career. He has 63 caps for his country, including a player-of-the-match performance in the 2019 World Cup final against England.
Gareth Milasinovich leaves Ulster after joining the province back in 2019. The South African-born prop, who qualifies for Ireland through his grandfather, has been a reliable plater for Dan McFarland in the front row.
After a difficult first year missed through injury, Milasinovich persevered and has been involved in seven of Ulster’s 13 wins in this season’s BKT United Rugby Championship.
Capped by New Zealand and Samoa on the international stage, New Zealand-born prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen leaves Ulster as a fan favourite. Having only joined the province last summer, ‘Big Jeff’ won the admiration of the Ulster faithful with his performances at loosehead, and his personality both on and off the pitch.
Ulster supporters will remember a player-of-the-match performance against the DHL Stormers at Kingspan Stadium when the prop scored a try and pulled out a dancing celebration, much to the delight of the supporters.
Scotland and British & Irish Lions prop Rory Sutherland joined Ulster on a short-term deal from Worchester Warriors earlier this season. He immediately boosted their front row options and, as a big game player, was quickly thrust into the action.
Sutherland made his debut for the province at Thomond Park, making several important turnovers as Ulster secured their first away win over Munster since 2014. His form in an Ulster jersey saw him called up to Scotland’s 2023 Guinness Six Nations squad.
Declan Moore leaves Ulster for provincial rivals Connacht on a loan move. The New Zealand-born hooker, who grew up in Australia, joined the Ulstermen from Munster on a loan deal but was offered a senior contract after making an impact. He scored a try for the province on his debut against Connacht in February 2022.
6ft 8in lock Frank Bradshaw-Ryan leaves the province after joining from Nevers where he made over 100 appearances in the French Pro D2.
The Limerick native lined out for the Ulster ‘A’ team that defeated Munster ‘A’ at the IRFU HPC last weekend, and was capped for Ulster in the province’s 47-17 home win over the Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium earlier this season.