Rugby

Ulster's Silver Lining Could Prove Tempting For Future Signings

Ulster's Silver Lining Could Prove Tempting For Future Signings

In what has been a dismissal season for Ulster all round, there are two definite silver linings that will provide comfort this summer. One is today's result which ensures Kingspan Stadium will host Champions Cup rugby next season. The other is their player of the year, and the most improved Irishman in rugby; John Cooney.

Cooney transferred from Connacht in 2017 having failed to establish himself as a regular out west. The scrum-half was an apt squad player but looked increasingly unlikely to oust Kieran Marmion and elected to move north. Cooney is 28, yet this season has been a revelation.

The undoubted first choice this year, Cooney's placekicking has been outstanding, his delivery is rapid and his contribution in open play has been fantastic. He was at hand today to dive in and secure a huge intercept before offloading for Craig Gilroy's second try.

As the province looks to attract new faces for the next season, the case of Cooney is worthy evidence of what is available.

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Ulster have particular areas that need addressing, nowhere more so than at out-half. However, with European rugby established and an exciting coaching ticket secured, the prospect of a potential Joey Carbery- Cooney half-back partnership suddenly looks a lot more exciting.

SEE ALSO: Steve Hansen Couldn't Help Himself With Latest Brad Shields Remarks

Maurice Brosnan

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