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Eight prospects will be aiming to flourish after joining Academy

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster Rugby have confirmed the make-up of this season's Hughes Academy panel with the introduction of eight new additions.

With the province already reaping the rewards of the system after two members of the squad, Ross Kane and Rob Lyttle, played with the seniors in Friday's PRO12 win over Newport Gwent Dragons, there will also be 10 holdovers from last season.

Conall Boomer, Rory Butler, Aaron Hall, Adam McBurney, Zack McCall, Tommy O'Hagan, Marcus Rea and Jonny Stewart have all been brought into the set-up.

Head of the Academy Kieran Campbell is thrilled to see the partnership with Hughes Insurance continue as more and more underage prospects advance to the first-team.

"I am delighted that Hughes Insurance have continued their support of the Ulster Rugby High Performance Academy Programme," he said.

"The success of the partnership with Hughes is already evident with the quality of players achieving recognition with the Ulster senior squad and we intend to build on this in the forthcoming season," commented Campbell.

The Academy squad were beaten by their Leinster counterparts at Shaw's Bridge on Friday night and will face two more interpros over the next fortnight.

They are set to meet Munster at Thomond Park on Friday while eight days later they will tussle with Connacht at Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster Academy 2016/17

Conall Boomer (Ballymena), David Busby (Ballynahinch), Rory Butler (QUB), Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins), Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch), Ross Kane (Ballymena), Michael Lagan (Ballymena), Rob Lyttle (QUB), Andy Magrath (Banbridge), Adam McBurney (Ballymena), Zack McCall (QUB), Tom O'Hagan (Rainey OB), Jack Owens (Malone), Marcus Rea (QUB), Jonny Stewart (QUB), Alex Thomson (QUB), Nick Timoney (QUB), Craig Trenier (Ballynahinch).

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