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Ulster's Kiss delighted as trio of starlets handed new contracts


By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster have moved to tie up some of their young talent with the news yesterday that a trio of Hughes Insurance Academy graduates inked fresh terms.

Versatile back Jacob Stockdale is only in his first year with the senior team but has certainly impressed when handed his chance.

The second top scorer in the Guinness PRO12, the Wallace High product has crossed the whitewash eight times already and is rewarded with a new deal.

Meanwhile, both Rob Lyttle and Ross Kane, who have already shown their worth to Les Kiss's side during this campaign having debuted earlier in the season, will move from the Academy into the first team panel.

Kiss said that Ulster management are delighted to see their underage systems bear fruit.

"Jacob, Ross and Rob are outstanding talents who, even at a young age, have demonstrated their qualities for our senior team," he said.

"Their development has really accelerated in the Academy and they have shown great appetite to continue that with the senior squad.

"All three were identified in the school game at a young age and have come through our player development pathway, which is essential for the sustainable future of Ulster Rugby.

"We have significantly increased investment in this area over the past couple of years and we are starting to reap the rewards."

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