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Ulster fly-half Billy Burns agrees new two-year deal to stay at province

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns in training
Ulster fly-half Billy Burns in training
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns has agreed a new two-year deal with the province that will keep him at Kingspan Stadium until June 2022.

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The English-born stand-off has been one of Ulster's best performers so far this season and has become an integral part of the squad as their starting No.10.

Burns has started four of Ulster's opening seven games this season, averaging just over 65 minutes per game, and has developed into an offensive fly-half.

Forming a strong half-back pairing with first-choice scrum-half John Cooney, this year has seen Burns grow into a regular role and he leads the team with four try assists this season.

Now the 25-year-old's form has been rewarded by his adopted province with a renewed deal that will see him stay at the club until at least the summer of 2022.

"It is great news that Billy has committed to Ulster. He is still a young man who is desperate to keep learning and developing both as a player and athlete," said Ulster head coach Dan McFarland.

"He has already contributed hugely on the pitch throughout last year’s campaign, and has demonstrated an excellent ability to lead a team. We’re all looking forward to Billy being a driving force in our group into the future."

In total, Burns has made 28 appearances for Ulster since joining from Gloucester in the summer of 2018, amassing 54 points.

"Since joining Ulster last summer, I've made it my home and have really enjoyed my time here. The support I've had has been incredible and we have a great group of players, so it was a no-brainer for me to extend my contract," added Burns.

"Kingspan Stadium is a great place to play rugby and I’m really pleased that I've got at least another couple of years of that to look forward to."

Burns is the second player to commit their future to Ulster, joining winger Rob Lyttle in agreeing a new long-term pact with the club at this early stage of the season.

Outstanding business that Ulster still need to take care of include new deals for tighthead prop Marty Moore, flankers Sean Reidy and Jordi Murphy and utility back Will Addison.

Ireland international winger Jacob Stockdale is also out of contract at the end of the season, however it is expected he will move up to a nationally-funded central contract, negotiated by the IRFU.

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