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Young player accolade for Ulster's Stockdale

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster star Jacob Stockdale has added yet another award to his already impressive CV after he was last night named the Nevin Spence Young Player of the Year at the Zurich Irish Rugby Awards in Dublin.

The 22-year-old has been recognised for the unforgettable form over the past 12 months that saw him set a new record for Six Nations tries in one campaign during Ireland's Grand Slam season.

His try-scoring feats for both Ulster and Ireland saw him edge out Leinster's Champions Cup winning duo James Ryan and Jordan Larmour.

Meanwhile, Ulster are sweating over the fitness of skipper Rory Best for their pivotal Champions Cup qualifier with Ospreys at Kingspan Stadium on Sunday after he injured a hamstring in training.

The province have already had to add Iain Henderson, Jean Deysel, Clive Ross and Matty Rea to long-term injury Marcell Coetzee, leaving Jono Gibbes short of options in the back-row.

The departing head coach, who has already been announced as Waikato's new boss, was bizarrely being linked with the vacant post at La Rochelle yesterday by French media.

Belfast Telegraph

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