This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 8 °C Friday 21 February, 2020

Injury means All Black Stephen Donald will not be joining Ulster

The province are now likely to turn to Johnny McPhillips.

Donald won't be joining up with Ulster.
Donald won't be joining up with Ulster.
Image: Dave Lintott/INPHO

ULSTER HAVE BEEN forced to cancel the short-term signing of All Black World Cup winner Stephen Donald to fill the void at out-half when Christian Lealiifano returns to Australia later this month.

Donald, whose kick helped New Zealand win the 2011 World Cup, sustained an injury while representing his club, Toshiba Brave, in the final game of the Japanese season.

The knock will rule him out for more than four weeks.

In a statement today, Ulster say:

“Unfortunately, Ulster Rugby is not in a position to proceed with the signing of Stephen Donald, after receiving a medical report on the player yesterday (Sunday).

“Stephen had agreed a short-term deal to join the Province, but he sustained an injury while representing his club in the final game of the Japanese season, which will rule him out for 4+ weeks.

“The timeline now makes it very difficult to find a suitable replacement, but we will continue to monitor the market.”

Lealiifano returns to the Brumbies for their Super Rugby campaign after joining the northern province at the start of the season on a short-term deal.

With no Donald to come in, Ireland U20 out-half Johnny McPhillips is likely to be entrusted with the 10 jersey going forward, while Peter Nelson could be recalled from the As to serve as back-up.

– First published 10.42, 22 Jan

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel