| 7.8°C Belfast

Vote for Ulster's team of the decade: Who is the province's top fly-half of the 2010s?

 

Close

Ian Humphreys, Paddy Jackson and Billy Burns are up for Ulster's top fly-half of the 2010s.

Ian Humphreys, Paddy Jackson and Billy Burns are up for Ulster's top fly-half of the 2010s.

Ian Humphreys, Paddy Jackson and Billy Burns are up for Ulster's top fly-half of the 2010s.

It's time to complete the half-back pairing for Ulster's top team of the 2010s by having your say on the best fly-half.

Voting will close at 12 noon on Thursday (December 19) so make sure you have your say on all positions before then: Loosehead prop - Hooker - Tighthead prop - Locks - Blindside flanker - Openside flanker - Number eight - Scrum-half - Wingers - Inside centre - Outside centre - Full-back

And scroll down to vote for Ulster's top number ten of the decade.

1. Ian Humphreys

Having began his professional career in England as a Leicester Tiger, Ian Humphreys was already well known to Irish rugby fans by the time he first pulled on a senior Ulster jersey.

Having been heavily involved in the under-age sides at Ravenhill before his switch across the water, he returned home having played a starring role in the first ever away team to win a European tie at Munster's Thomond Park. Some of his most memorable days in at Ulster would come in continental competition too, such as in the thrilling victory over Clermont when he provided all his side's points in a 16-11 win in Belfast.

Having already won there with Leicester, he would be central too as the province won an unforgettable quarter-final at Thomond Park. By the time of the semi-final he had been replaced by Paddy Jackson and would move to London Irish that summer. A second return home came in the summer of 2014 and the gifted playmaker would continue with the province until his retirement in 2016.

Close

Ulster's Ian Humphreys takes a kick during the match against the Cardiff Blues at the Kingspan Stadium.  Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

Ulster's Ian Humphreys takes a kick during the match against the Cardiff Blues at the Kingspan Stadium. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.

Ulster's Ian Humphreys takes a kick during the match against the Cardiff Blues at the Kingspan Stadium. Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye.
 

2. Paddy Jackson

After taking the reins from Ian Humphreys during the run to the 2012 Heineken Cup final, Paddy Jackson was thrown in at the deep end not long after his 20th birthday.

He would become a fixture in the side though and made his Ireland debut in the Six Nations of 2013 during the last days of Declan Kidney's time in charge. He would go onto make 25 appearances for Ireland, including a win in South Africa in the summer of 2016.

Alongside Ruan Pienaar at Ulster, the pair would form a formidable half-back partnership and he was a key figure as the province made four consecutive European quarter-finals between 2012 and 2015, as well as the Pro12 final of 2013.

Jackson, along with team-mate Stuart Olding, had his contract revoked in 2018 following their acquittal of rape charges in a high-profile court case. He would spend one year playing in France before reuniting with former bosses Kidney and Les Kiss at London Irish.

Close

Paddy Jackson kicks a penalty for Ulster

Paddy Jackson kicks a penalty for Ulster

Getty Images

Paddy Jackson kicks a penalty for Ulster
 

3. Billy Burns

In the wake of Paddy Jackson's departure, Ulster filled the ten jersey on a temporary basis with well-liked Wallaby Christian Leali'ifano and since departed youngster Johnny McPhillips.

A more permanent option emerged with the signing of Billy Burns from Gloucester in the summer of 2018. Having made his debut at Kingsholm when only 17, Burns made over a century appearances for the Cherry and Whites, often making it easy to forget he is still just 25-years-old.

Despite his late arrival to the side meaning he arrived in during pre-season training, Burns still impressed over the course of 24 games in his debut season and in his second year at Kingspan Stadium has already been rewarded with a new two-year contract to keep him at the club until at least 2022.

An inventive player, his kicking game has added something extra to Ulster's attacking arsenal while he has a strong partnership with scrum-half John Cooney.

Close

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns in training

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns in training

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns in training
 

Belfast Telegraph