Joe Dunleavy has been named in the Abbey Insurance Ulster Rugby Academy squad for the new season.
Dunleavy, who played for Ireland at the recent World U20 Rugby Championship in France, will go into his second year in the academy.
The 19-year-old flanker plays his club rugby at Malone having graduated from Letterkenny Rugby Club’s underage teams.
Dunleavy scored a try against France in the World U20s.
There are six new entrants to the Academy this year.
Joining the programme are Malone RFC star Matthew Agnew, who played for Ireland in the recent U20 World Cup, and the Ballymena Academy trio of fly-half Bruce Houston, centre Stewart Moore and back row Azur Allison, who captained Ireland U19s last year.
Double Schools’ Cup winner with RBAI, David McCann, will be another familiar face to followers of schools’ rugby.
The final place in the Academy is awarded to Iwan Hughes, a pace-laden Irish-qualified outside back who joins the Ulster setup from Bristol.
Commenting on the announcement of the Academy squad, Kieran Campbell, Head of the Abbey Insurance Ulster Rugby Academy, said: “It is always an exciting time of the year when we welcome in the new crop of young Academy players and, once again, we are delighted with the level of quality coming in.
“Our player development pathway from U16 through to Academy is going from strength to strength, evidenced by 36% of Ulster representation on Irish National Talent Squads and 46 Ulster senior caps won by Academy players last season.
“The quality of players and their level of application is driving competition within the pathway and the current crop are full of enthusiasm and keen to get stuck into the programme, so we’re all really looking forward to seeing how they progress over the season.”Tags: