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Ulster Contract Extensions For Ireland Duo Hume And O’Toole

Ulster Contract Extensions For Ireland Duo Hume And O’Toole

Ireland international Tom O'Toole, who is part of their current Guinness Six Nations squad, has signed up to play for Ulster until 2027 ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Ireland internationals James Hume and Tom O’Toole, along with Sean Reffell, are set to remain with the province for the coming years.

After captaining his native province to a 49-26 bonus point win at Kingspan Stadium last Saturday, the 25-year-old Hume will call himself one of the Ulstermen until at least June 2027.

A former three-time Danske Bank Ulster Schools Senior Cup winner with RBAI, the dynamic centre has already amassed 90 caps for Ulster, after coming through the province’s player pathway.

As a result of being a reliable name on teamsheets over the past number of seasons, Hume has racked up accolades including the Ulster Player of the Year and Rugby Writers’ Player of the Year awards, and earned a place in the BKT United Rugby Championship Dream Team line-up.

The Belfast native, who also has three Ireland caps to his name, commented: “I’m delighted to extend my future here at Ulster. I love and care about this team, so I’m excited to see what the future holds.”

The 25-year-old O’Toole, who is currently in camp with Andy Farrell’s Ireland Six Nations squad, has also committed his future to Ulster with a new three-year deal.

Having joined the Ulster Rugby Academy in 2017, after playing the latter part of his schools rugby at Campbell College, the hard-working prop has since impressed at both provincial and international level, with 98 Ulster caps to his name since making his debut in 2018 against Edinburgh.

O’Toole, who was part of Ireland’s recent Rugby World Cup campaign, said: “I’m delighted to be continuing my journey with Ulster Rugby.

“We have a great playing group and management. It will be an honour to contribute in part to the province’s future going forward as we enter a new chapter.”

Meanwhile, Irish-qualified flanker Reffell will continue to pull on the Ulster jersey for at least another two years.

With his first start for Ulster seeing him make a record-breaking 39 tackles against Munster, the 25-year-old will be looking to continue making a name for himself. Unfortunately his time at the province so far has been disrupted by injury.

The former Saracens Young Player of the Year stated: “I’m really pleased to be continuing my journey with Ulster. It’s a really tight group of lads, both on and off the pitch, with a fierce competitive nature around the squad, which I love being a part of. I’m excited to see where we can go.”

On securing the squad for the 2024/25 season, and beyond, Ulster Rugby Head of Rugby Operations and Recruitment, Bryn Cunningham, said: “While there will be some change in the look and size of the overall squad, we’re confident about what we’re building for the upcoming seasons.

“These three players showcase our direction of travel as a province. James exemplifies the pipeline of homegrown players being developed through our provincial club and schools’ pathway that are going on to represent Ulster at the highest level.

“He has relished becoming a key leader within the squad and will have a big part to play in Ulster’s plans moving forward.

“With Tom, his progression as a tighthead prop is on show through his continued Ireland involvement, and the performances he delivers in the white of Ulster. The exciting thing for the supporters is that his best years are still ahead of him.

“Although unfortunate with a couple of injuries, the impact Sean has made in the games he has played has been off the charts in terms of energy and involvements. I’m really looking forward to his continued impact over the coming seasons.”