Thursday 18 July 2019

Teenage sensation Aaron Sexton makes full-time switch from athletics to rugby to join Ulster academy

Aaron Sexton with his gold medal after winning the Senior Boys 100m event during the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly earlier this month. Photo: Sportsfile
Aaron Sexton with his gold medal after winning the Senior Boys 100m event during the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly earlier this month. Photo: Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

18-year-old athletics star Aaron Sexton has been confirmed as part of Ulster's academy squad for the 2019/20 season.

Sexton, who represented Ulster A last season while still a schoolboy at Bangor Grammer, broke the Irish schools record for both the 100m and the 200m at recent events, and is now set to take the next step into professional rugby with the Ulster academy.

The teenage flyer was Ulster A's top try-scorer in last season's Celtic Cup and was clocked as the fastest Ulster player since records were kept.

A lot is expected of the youngster ahead of his full-time switch from athletics to rugby, and Ulster scrum-half John Cooney is confident that he will be a strong addition for Ulster.

Aaron Sexton on his way to winning the Senior Boys 200m event during the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Aaron Sexton on his way to winning the Senior Boys 200m event during the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Speaking to the Left Wing, Independent.ie's rugby podcast, Cooney gave his impressions of Sexton after he trained with the senior team last season.

"There's a lad called Aaron Sexton, he's a winger and he is still in school and he is only 17," Cooney said.

"He got called in to train with us the other day - I'm pretty sure out of school! He played for the U20's the other day and scored a try, what seemed easy for him, against Leinster from 50m. He gassed everyone on the outside, stepped the fullback and nobody could get near him. I'm pretty sure he is going to be a big future star."

Overall, Ulster have confirmed that 16 players will be in their academy next season.

Ulster academy

Year 4

Aaron Hall

Year 3

Graham Curtis

Matthew Dalton

Jack Regan

Joe Dunleavy

Year 2

Matthew Agnew

Azur Allison

Bruce Houston

Iwan Hughes

David McCann

Stewart Moore

Year 1

Hayden Hyde

Conor Rankin

Callum Reid

Aaron Sexton

Tom Stewart

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Kerry back to their best, Connolly’s return and Cork’s baffling inconsistency

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport