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Ulster confirm new deals for Baloucoune, Marshall, Sexton and O'Connor

The 23-year-old is currently sidelined with a hamstring issue but previously trained with Ireland.

Robert Baloucoune has signed a new deal with Ulster.
Robert Baloucoune has signed a new deal with Ulster.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that wings Robert Baloucoune and Aaron Sexton, centre Luke Marshall, and lock Alan O’Connor have signed two-year contract extensions with the province.

The new deals will keep all four players with Ulster until 2023 at least.

Baloucoune is currently sidelined after suffering a serious hamstring injury last August, but he has delivered excellent performances for Dan McFarland’s side in recent seasons. The Enniskillen man previously excelled for the Ireland 7s side and then made his senior Ulster debut in 2018. 

Baloucoune’s strong form in the 2019/20 season saw him link up with Andy Farrell’s Ireland squad as a ‘development player’ ahead of the 2020 Six Nations. However, the wing ripped his hamstring off the bone at Ulster training last summer and remains on the comeback trail.

Marshall is also out of action at the moment due to a knee injury but the 29-year-old is a key senior player within the Ulster squad.

Capped 11 times by Ireland, most recently in 2017, Marshall’s experience is valued by McFarland and his coaching staff. A new two-year contract underlines his importance to the province.

20-year-old wing/fullback Sexton made his senior Ulster debut last November and recently starred in their A team victory over Leinster.

Sexton – who has signed a new “upgraded contract” – was a sprinting sensation in his school days but opted for professional rugby and Ulster fans are excited about his potential.

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Meanwhile, O’Connor has signed a new deal having become a stalwart for Ulster since joining their academy back in 2012.

The 28-year-old has been a consistent performer for the McFarland’s side in recent seasons and has captained the province.

Baloucoune, Marshall, Sexton and O’Connor are the first Irish rugby players to confirm contract extensions in 2021, with the IRFU having lifted a pause on negotiations in the New Year.

Ulster boss McFarland also recently signed a two-year contract extension with the province to keep him at the province until 2023.

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