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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

21-year-old wing Kernohan set for Championship move after leaving Ulster

The former Ireland U20 flyer is close to finalising a deal with Ealing Trailfinders.

FORMER IRELAND U20 wing Angus Kernohan is set for a move to Championship side Ealing Trailfinders after leaving Ulster.

The northern province confirmed that the 21-year-old flyer will be moving on next season and The42 understands that Kernohan is close to finalising a deal to join Ealing in England’s second-tier league.

angus-kernohan Kernohan played for Ulster's senior team 21 times and scored three tries. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Kernohan was a highly-rated prospect as he came through school at Ballymena Academy to play for the Ireland U20s for two years in a row in 2018 and 2019, helping Noel McNamara’s team to a Grand Slam last year.

The Ballymena man made his senior Ulster debut in September 2018 and went on to future a total of 18 times for the province in that 2018/19 season, including seven starts in the Pro14 and two replacement appearances in the Heineken Champions Cup. Kernohan scored two Pro14 tries along the way against the Kings and Connacht.

There were fewer opportunities for Kernohan in the 2019/20 season as he featured three times for Dan McFarland’s side, starting once against Leinster last December and scoring a try in that Pro14 fixture.

Ulster have now opted to move forward into next season with Jacob Stockdale, Robert Baloucoune, Craig Gilroy, Louis Ludik, Rob Lyttle, and the versatile Matt Faddes competing for wing spots in their senior squad.

With Stockdale, Baloucoune, and Lyttle all still improving as young wings, Kernohan was also battling with lots of emerging talent just behind him in Ulster.

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The province’s academy for next season includes the lightning-quick Aaron Sexton, as well as Ireland U20-capped back three players Conor Rankin and Ethan McIlroy, the latter of whom made his senior debut at the age of just 19 against Leinster this season.

angus-kernohan-on-the-attack Kernohan had two years with the Ireland U20s. Source: Pablo Gasparini/INPHO

As for Kernohan, he is set to make the move to Ealing in the Championship next season as he looks to fulfil his potential.

London-based Ealing have been consistently strong in recent seasons and are backed by generous investment from Mike Gooley, who owns the Trailfinders travel company.

With clubs relegated from the previous season’s Premiership starting each Championship campaign as obvious favourites for promotion, Ealing have so far been unable to jump into the top flight, a situation that has been accentuated by the removal of the promotion play-offs.

Saracens will be expected to bounce back up from the 2020/21 Championship, but Ben Ward’s Ealing side will likely prove very competitive again, having finished second for the last three seasons in a row.

Kernohan, who only turned 21 in March, will look to establish himself as Ealing push Sarries.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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