independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Stephen Ferris signs six-month Ulster deal ending talk of Japan move

Ulster's Stephen Ferris

Stephen Ferris will remain at Ulster at least until the end of 2013 after agreeing a short-term contract with the province ending speculation that he was moving to Japan.

Since the turn of the year there has been increasing speculation linking the flanker with a move to the Far East but that move appears to have been scuppered by injury.

The injury-plagued 27 year old picked up an ankle injury against Edinburgh in the Rabo last November and has played no rugby since. He has signed a six month contract with the province that ties him down until the end of the year.

Following consultation with medical experts in Belfast, Dublin and London, Ferris underwent surgery on his ankle again in May and is expected to miss the first four months of the season.

Ferris has played 102 times for Ulster and has been capped 35 times by Ireland. He toured South Africa with the British & Irish Lions in 2009.

Commenting on the contract extension, Ulster's director of rugby David Humphreys said: "Stephen has had a difficult year with the injuries that he has suffered, but when he is fit there is no doubt that he is one of the best back row forwards in the game.

"Stephen is passionate about playing for Ulster and Ireland and our aim in giving him this contract extension is to provide him with the best possible care to enable him to get back playing."

Speaking about his new deal with Ulster, Ferris said: "I am delighted that I can continue my recovery and rehab from injury within the Ulster Rugby set-up.

"I believe that working with the medical team at Ulster, along with the excellent strength and conditioning coaches, offers me the best chance of regaining full fitness and of representing Ulster and Ireland again."

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