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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 20 January, 2020

'One of the most talented players I've ever worked with': Olding commits to Ulster until 2019

The thrilling 22-year-old will be a core member of the province’s homegrown players tasked with driving standards.

NOT TO BE entirely out-done by their rivals in Dublin, Ulster have announced a new contract for an excellent centre of their own.

Stuart Olding, 22, has signed a three-year extension which will keep him with his native province until 2019.

Also comfortable at fullback and out-half, Olding has endured a difficult run of knee injuries since winning the first of his two international caps for Ireland in 2013. His second appearance in green brought him his first Test try, as he powered in a late score against Georgia in 2014.

olding try

“He has worked incredibly hard to come back from injury and he is starting to recapture some of his best form,” says Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss.

“The determination and character he has shown in returning from his most recent injury speaks volumes for him and he is exactly the type of person we need within the squad.

“He is one of the most talented players that I have ever worked with and he is a superb asset to this organisation. I’m sure that he will have a massive impact for us over the next few years.”

Olding has made 39 appearances since making his debut against Glasgow in 2011, scoring seven tries and contributing four scores from his boot.

“It’s a boost to sign the extension so soon after my return from injury,” says Olding.

“I’ve been unfortunate with injuries over the past couple of seasons but the medical staff and management team here at Ulster have been outstanding and they have provided me with phenomenal support during some tough times.

Stuart Olding is tackled by Adam Warren Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

“I believe Ulster Rugby is in a really good place at the minute and it’s a great organisation to be part of. The set up here at Kingspan Stadium is first class in terms of the facilities, the quality of players we have – and indeed those that we have coming in, the staff, and the supporters. I look forward to contributing to the success of Ulster over the coming months and years.”

Though promising 19-year-old centre Sam Arnold will move on to Munster next season, competition is fierce in the Ulster midfield. Along with Olding; Jared Payne, Luke Marshall and Darren Cave are also vying for positions in the centre with Stuart McCloskey the odd man out as an uncapped option at Kiss’ disposal.

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Sean Farrell

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