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Pro14

Ulster hooker set for Edinburgh move

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Edinburgh Rugby today announced the signing of 24-year-old Scottish qualified Ulster Rugby hooker Adam McBurney.

McBurney – whose grandmother was from Cadder, Lanarkshire – joined the Ulster academy set-up in 2016 and represented Ireland from U18 to U20.

His progress led to a senior debut for Ulster in 2017 and his first senior contract with the Irish Province a year later.

He has since gone on to make 35 appearances for the Guinness PRO14 side.


He said: “I’m extremely excited to sign for Edinburgh. It’s a great place and a club with very high standards

“Over the last few seasons, the progress on the pitch has been extremely noticeable from the outside looking in, and it’s something I’m looking forward to being involved with.

“I want to be part of a very successful Edinburgh squad, take every opportunity I’m given on the pitch, show what I’m about and how I can fit into the values and good work Edinburgh have already been doing.”

Wearing the number two jersey, McBurney hopes to take advantage of the experience of Head Coach Richard Cockerill, who earned 27 caps for England in the late 90s.

“Richard Cockerill was a world class player and is a world class coach. I still have a lot of learning in me. I hope to benefit from his experiences to bring the best out of me as a hooker.

“I’ve been in the same rugby environment since I was a kid and hope this change will challenge my ability to adapt, along with picking the brains of new coaches and players to develop my skills.

“I’d like to thank to Ulster for everything they’ve done to help me progress to where I’m at today.”

The news comes as the club confirmed hooker Mike Willemse will leave Edinburgh at the end of the season, having made 34 appearances to date since arriving in 2019.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, Richard Cockerill, said: “We’re pleased to announce Adam will be joining our squad next season. He’s a tough and dynamic competitor with a lot of scope for development.

“He’s a good fit for us and – with Mike leaving – slots well into our stable of hookers at the club.

“He’ll bring a lot of energy, a bit of edge and is a hard worker. We’re looking forward to linking up with him and seeing how he can progress.”

Pro14

Munster confirm Zebo signing

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(Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Munster Rugby and the IRFU are pleased to announce that Simon Zebo has signed a one-year contract to return to play with the province for the 2021/22 season.

This co-funded contract will see Munster’s all-time record try-scorer return from Racing 92 and line out for his home club where he made 144 appearances and scored 60 tries between 2010 and 2018.

In his third season with the Top 14 side, the 31-year-old has played 55 times and scored 21 tries to date.

Head Coach Johann van Graan said, “The opportunity to bring Simon back to Munster came about in early April following a final review of our squad’s budgetary position for season-end and with assistance from the IRFU to support what we believe is a really good deal for Munster and Irish Rugby.

“Simon’s desire to return to Ireland and play with his home club is illustrated by his willingness to sign at a level below his market value elsewhere. This has made bringing the province’s all-time leading try-scorer back home, possible.”

Simon Zebo said, “I am thrilled and honoured to be coming back home to play for Munster. My family and I have been so lucky to have enjoyed three incredible years with Racing 92 in Paris and I cannot thank the team there enough, I really have made friends for life and take with me some brilliant memories.

“However, as everyone knows, Munster holds a very special place in my heart and I’ve always said that I wanted to play for them and potentially Ireland again, so when this opportunity arose the lure of being close to home, family and friends and Munster fans, it outweighed all other options. I cannot wait to get back to the HPC with the team and hopefully a packed Thomond Park.”

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Pro14

Ulster Rugby agree to release Coetzee early

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Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Marcell Coetzee has played his last game for Ulster Rugby.

With back-row, Marcell Coetzee, currently side-lined with a hamstring injury, Ulster Rugby has agreed terms which will see the player released from the club at the end of this month, ahead of his planned departure at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season.

Given the need for several weeks of rehabilitation following the injury sustained by Coetzee in last month’s Guinness PRO14 fixture against Leinster, Ulster Rugby and the player have reached a mutual agreement to part ways on Friday 30 April.

Head of Rugby Operations and Recruitment, Bryn Cunningham, said: “We have come to an agreement that will allow Marcell the time and space required to continue his rehab.

“I’d like to thank Marcell for his contribution to the province over the past five years and we wish him and wife, Chanelle the very best for their upcoming return home to South Africa.”

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Pro14

Lowry retained at 10 for Ulster v Zebre

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Photo By Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Ulster coaching team has named the match-day squad to host Zebre in tomorrow night’s final Guinness PRO14 regular season game (Kingspan Stadium, 8.15pm).

21-year-old, Cormac Izuchukwu will make his first start for the Ulster men as he is named in the second row alongside Kieran Treadwell. Marty Moore comes back into the starting front row at tighthead, with Eric O’Sullivan and John Andrew retaining their starting berths at loosehead and hooker. Jordi Murphy will captain the side at openside flanker, with Sean Reidy and David McCann being retained at blindside and Number Eight.

A youthful back line sees Ethan McIlroy coming into the  back three at full-back, with Rob Lyttle on the left wing and Robert Baloucoune returning on the right. Stewart Moore and James Hume will make up the midfield pairing, while John Cooney and Michael Lowry are named at half-back.

Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor and Matty Rea are the forward reinforcements, with David Shanahan, Ian Madigan and Ben Moxham providing the back line options on the bench.

Ulster team to play Zebre Rugby, Guinness PRO14 Round 16, Friday 19 March at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 8.15pm, live on Premier Sports / eir Sport):

(15-9) Ethan McIlroy, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Rob Lyttle, Michael Lowry, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, John Andrew, Marty Moore, Cormac Izuchukwu, Kieran Treadwell, Sean Reidy, Jordy Murphy (Capt.), David McCann.

Replacements: Brad Roberts, Callum Reid, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Matty Rea, David Shanahan, Ian Madigan, Ben Moxham.

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