Ulster prop Court set for Premiership switch

The Lions loosehead is heading for England next season after eight seasons with the northern province.

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

ULSTER PROP TOM Court will leave the province at the end of the season to join an unnamed Premiership club.

Strong rumours suggest that his destination will be London Irish, who currently have other Irishmen like Ian Humphreys, Tomás O’Leary, Eamonn Sheridan and Jamie Hagan on their books.

Court joined Ulster in 2006, having realised that his ancestry made him eligible to represent Ireland despite the fact that he was born in Australia. Previously an Olympic trialist in the shot-put, the Brisbane native only began playing rugby in 2004.

Commenting on his decision to leave Ulster and sign a “long-term contract” with the Premiership club, Court said:

“I feel that this is the right decision with regards to me and my career at this stage. It is going to be very sad when the time comes to actually leave and finish up, but there is a lot of rugby left for me with the province.

There are six months remaining of this season, so there is even more motivation for me to make the most of it while I am here and to try and help Ulster win something.”

Court has made 135 appearances for Ulster, excelling at loosehead prop during their run to the 2012 Heineken Cup final, as well as getting the better of more renowned tighthead props like Dan Cole and Maximiliano Bustos in more recent times.

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With Ireland, Court has enjoyed 32 caps in an international career which began in 2009. The 33-year-old has fallen down the pecking order in the Irish set-up this season however, with new head coach Joe Schmidt preferring Jack McGrath.

Court did feature for the Lions during their summer tour of Australia, playing 35 minutes off the bench against the Melbourne Rebels. It now appears that his experience will be to London Irish’s benefit next season.

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Murray Kinsella

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