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Saturday 3 December 2016

Injury frustrations prevented Olding winning even more caps

Published 02/11/2016 | 02:30

Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding
Ulster rugby player Stuart Olding

Stuart Olding has long been mapped as a future international and only injury has prevented him from earning more than four caps.

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A graduate of Belfast Royal Academy, he made his Ulster debut aged 18 in 2011 and was capped by Ireland against Canada in summer 2013.

His rise was stunted by two serious knee injuries as he twice tore his anterior cruciate ligament and missed a combined 18 months of action, including last year's World Cup.

He added just one more cap to his debut until last summer. In June, he got his opportunity in South Africa alongside Jackson and, while he struggled at times with the Springboks' physicality in the second test, he shone a week later in a thrilling display in Port Elizabeth that marked him out as a star in the making.

An exciting and elusive runner, his seven line-breaks drew praise from Joe Schmidt despite the team's defeat, and he was marked out for further involvement this November until a hip-flexor injury intervened.

At Ulster, he has collected 54 caps in the province's most competitive position.

Irish Independent

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