Rugby Union

David O'Connor to join brother Alan at Ulster rugby

Ulster rugby second row Alan O'Connor will have very close connections in the squad next season.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland has lined up a development deal for O'Connor's younger brother, David, a former Leinster academy lock from All-Ireland League club Lansdowne.

The 6ft 4ins McFarland is Ulster's sixth summer signing.

The 24-year-old links up with other new faces Matt Faddes, Bill Johnston and Gareth Milasinovich, Jack McGrath and Sam Carter.

The senior playing squad for next season will consist of 37 fully-contracted players and seven development players.

Of the 44 players named in the panel, 41 are Irish-qualified and 27 have progressed through Ulster's player development pathway.

Nine players who started the 2018/19 season in the Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy have signed upgraded contracts ahead of the new season.

“Having a large number of indigenous young players in the squad is incredibly important for the future of Ulster Rugby. said Ulster head coach, Dan McFarland.

“Kieran Campbell and his staff in the Academy deserve a lot of credit for their work in bringing through the next generation of talent to the senior squad, which was so evident last season. Our clubs and schools also play a huge part in the development pathway of our young players, providing the basis for crucial early technical and motivational growth.

“It is important that we retain the best of our home-grown talent, many of whom receive attractive offers from other clubs, and we have managed to do that once again with some key re-signings.

“Combined with this core group of Ulster men is the vital input of our overseas players.

“Having players like Marcell Coetzee in the group has delivered tangible benefits both on and off the field, and I'm confident that Sam Carter and Matt Faddes will also have big impacts.

“We will also welcome the experience and quality of Jack McGrath, and the potential of Gareth Milasinovich, Bill Johnston and David O'Connor into the squad, and I'm looking forward to working with them all.

“The squad is developing nicely. We need to have quality throughout the squad; sometimes that's down to recruitment, a lot of the time it's down to bringing the young guys through. Getting a healthy mixture of the two is really important.”

The majority of the squad will commence pre-season training on Monday July 1 .

Ulster Rugby 2019/20 squad

Players developed through the Abbey Insurance Academy or Ulster club system are marked with * and Development players are marked with **.

Will Addison

John Andrew*

Robert Baloucoune**

Billy Burns

Sam Carter

Marcell Coetzee

John Cooney

Angus Curtis*

Matt Faddes

Craig Gilroy*

Iain Henderson*

Rob Herring

James Hume**

Bill Johnston

Greg Jones*

Ross Kane*

Angus Kernohan**

Michael Lowry*

Louis Ludik

Rob Lyttle*

Luke Marshall*

Adam McBurney*

Kyle McCall*

Zack McCall**

Stuart McCloskey*

Jack McGrath

Gareth Milasinovic

Marty Moore

Jordi Murphy

Alan O'Connor*

David O'Connor**

Tommy O'Hagan**

Eric O'Sullivan*

Tom O'Toole*

Marcus Rea**

Matty Rea*

Sean Reidy

Clive Ross

David Shanahan*

Jonny Stewart*

Jacob Stockdale*

Nick Timoney*

Kieran Treadwell

Andrew Warwick*

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