|Location||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Ground(s)||Ravenhill Stadium (Capacity: 18,196)|
|Most caps||Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave & Rob Herring (229)|
|Top scorer||David Humphreys (1,585)|
|Most tries||Andrew Trimble (76)|
|League(s)||United Rugby Championship|
2nd Irish Shield
Ulster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby union teams from the island of Ireland. They compete in the Irish regional pool of the United Rugby Championship and in the European Rugby Champions Cup, each of which they have won once. Ulster were the first Irish team and the first team outside England and France to win the European Cup in 1999.
The team represents the IRFU Ulster Branch, which is one of the four primary branches of the IRFU and is responsible for rugby union throughout the geographical Irish province of Ulster, comprising Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone) and three counties in the Republic of Ireland which are Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan.
Prior to professionalisation, Ulster were a representative amateur team taking part in the IRFU Interprovincial Championship. They have also competed in the now defunct Celtic Cup (2003-05). Their development team, Ulster A, formerly known as the Ulster Ravens, have competed in the British and Irish Cup (2009-18) and a revived Celtic Cup (2018-20).
A number of clubs were operating in Ulster prior to the foundation of the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Ulster branch. The Belfast-based North of Ireland F.C., founded in 1868, was the earliest club to operate in the province. Clubs from this era still in existence include Dungannon and Queen's University. The first Irish inter-provincial game took place in 1875 between Ulster and Leinster, with Ulster being the victors. In Ireland's first international match, which was played in 1875 against England, eight Ulster-based players took part. Rugby in Ulster at this time was mostly overseen by the Irish Football Union, with the Northern Football Union of Ireland controlling the game in Belfast. The two unions amalgamated in 1879, with the provincial branches of Ulster, Leinster and Munster being founded as part of the terms of this arrangement. The final Irish provincial side, Connacht, was founded in 1885.
During the amateur era Irish players primarily played for their respective clubs, with provincial games effectively treated as Irish trial matches. The provincial teams were also used to provide competitive club opposition for touring international sides. Inter-provincial games were played on an irregular basis but starting in the 1946–47 season, the provinces played against each other in the annual Irish Interprovincial Championship. Ulster won this tournament 26 times in total, with eight of these titles being shared. The team's greatest period of success was in the 1980s and 1990s when they won ten titles in a row.
After rugby union was declared open to professionalism in 1995, the IRFU gradually developed the provincial sides as professional teams. The Heineken Cup was launched in 1995 to provide a new level of European cross-border competition, and Ulster, coached by Harry Williams and captained by David Humphreys, became the first Irish team to win it in the 1998–99 season, beating beat French side US Colomiers 21–6 in the final at Lansdowne Road in Dublin.
The Celtic League, featuring all four Irish provinces plus teams from Scotland and Wales, was launched in 2001. From 2001 to 2004, the Ulster team was coached by Alan Solomons, a former assistant coach of the Springboks and head coach of The Stormers and Western Province in his native South Africa. Solomons coached Ulster to a three-year unbeaten home record in the Heineken Cup. In the 2003–04 season, Ulster finished second in the Celtic League, only overtaken by Llanelli on the final day of the campaign. Two of Ulster's most impressive achievements in this period were a 33–0 win over English giants Leicester Tigers in the Heineken Cup in January 2004, and winning the inaugural Celtic Cup on 20 December 2003, beating Edinburgh in a rain-soaked Murrayfield final.
Solomons was succeeded by Mark McCall, former captain of the province and a member of Ulster's Heineken Cup winning squad, with former teammate Allen Clarke as his assistant, and Ulster's unbeaten home run in Europe was extended to four years. Dominant forward play by Australian lock Justin Harrison, New Zealand-born Irish scrum-half Isaac Boss, and a rapid maturing of a youthful home-grown three-quarter line made Ulster champions of the 2005–06 Celtic League. On the last day of the season, the title came down between Ulster and Leinster, before being decided in Ulster's favour by a 40-metre David Humphreys drop goal against Ospreys.
Ulster started the 2006–07 season well, including beating Toulouse 30-3 in the Heineken Cup. But this form did not continue, they were eliminated from the competition early, and finished fifth in the Celtic League. Back row forward Roger Wilson was Player of the Year.
The team began the 2007-08 season with a poor run of results, and Mark McCall resigned in November following Ulster's embarrassing 32–14 home defeat to Gloucester in the opening round of the 2007–08 Heineken Cup. Assistant coach Steve Williams took temporary charge, and Matt Williams took charge in February, but failed to turn the season around, with Ulster finishing 9th in the 10 team Celtic League. Centre Darren Cave made his debut from the academy. At the end of the season wing Tommy Bowe, who was named Player of the Year, left for Ospreys. Roger Wilson went to Northampton Saints. Out-half David Humphreys retired, and was appointed the province's Director of Operations.
The following season out-half Ian Humphreys, David's younger brother, was signed from Leicester Tigers. Ulster finished third in their Heineken Cup group and eighth in the Celtic League, and Williams resigned. Hooker Rory Best was Player of the Year.
For the 2009-10 season a new management structure was put in place, with David Humphreys as director of rugby and Brian McLaughlin as head coach, assisted by Jeremy Davidson and Neil Doak. New signings included lock Dan Tuohy from Exeter. Centre Nevin Spence made his debut from the academy. The season saw an improvement in Ulster's Heineken Cup form, including their first away win in England against Bath, but they finished eighth in the Celtic League. Flanker Chris Henry was Player of the Year. At the end of the season, scrum-half Isaac Boss left for Leinster, and prop Justin Fitzpatrick retired.
The 2010-11 season saw significant improvement. Ulster signed key players including 2007 Rugby World Cup winning Springboks Ruan Pienaar and Johann Muller. Out-half Paddy Jackson. and centre Luke Marshall made their debuts from the academy. Ulster made the semi-finals of the Celtic League and the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup. Ruan Pienaar was Player of the Year.
New signings for the 2011-12 season included prop John Afoa and utility back Jared Payne. Academy lock Iain Henderson made his senior debut. Ulster reached the Heineken Cup final, losing to Leinster at Twickenham. The Celtic League had been renamed the Pro12 after the addition of two Italian teams, and Ulster finished sixth. Brian McLaughlin was replaced as head coach by Mark Anscombe. Flanker Chris Henry was Player of the Year.
New signings for the 2012–13 season included back row forward Nick Williams from the now defunct Aironi, wing Tommy Bowe, returning from his four-year stay at the Ospreys, back row forward Roger Wilson, returning from Northampton Saints, and Irish-qualified South African hooker Rob Herring, initially on a six month trial. Out-half Ian Humphreys left for London Irish. Centre Nevin Spence died in an accident at the family farm. Ulster started the season with 13 consecutive wins in all competitions, the longest unbeaten run in their history. They finished top of their group in the Heineken Cup, qualifying for the quarter-finals, where they lost to Northampton Saints. They finished top of the table in the Pro12, earning a home semi-final, in which they defeated Scarlets 27-16 in the last match before the old grandstand was demolished. The redevelopment of Ravenhill meant the final against Leinster had to be played at the RDS Arena in Dublin. Leinster won 24-18. Lock Alan O'Connor made his debut from the academy this season. Wing Andrew Trimble was Player of the Year.
The 2013–14 season proved trophyless again. For the first time, Ulster won all their Heineken Cup group games, with away victories against Montpellier and Leicester Tigers being the highlight. They were knocked out at the quarterfinal stage with a 17–15 home defeat to Saracens. The Pro12 season was racked with inconsistency and Ulster finished the league season in fourth place. This set up an away semi-final with Leinster, and for the fourth time in four seasons the season was ended by their old foes with a 13–9 defeat. Centre Stuart McCloskey and prop Andrew Warwick made their debuts from the academy. Andrew Trimble was Player of the Year for the second year running. The season ended with the retirements of captain Johann Muller, centre Paddy Wallace, and flanker Stephen Ferris. Director of Rugby David Humphreys also left the province to take up a similar position at Gloucester Rugby. Following Humphreys' departure, Mark Anscombe was sacked by the province and was replaced by Ireland defence coach Les Kiss on an interim basis.
The 2014–15 season was Ulster's first under director of rugby Les Kiss and head coach Neil Doak. The redeveloped Ravenhill, renamed the Kingspan Stadium, now had a capacity of 18,196. Rory Best was named captain after the retirement of Johann Muller. New signings included out-half Ian Humphreys, returning from London Irish, lock Franco van der Merwe from the Lions, outside back Louis Ludik from Agen, and flanker Sean Reidy from Counties Manukau. Ulster were knocked out of the new European Champions Cup at the group stage. They finished fourth in the Pro12 but narrowly lost in the playoff semifinal to eventual champions Glasgow Warriors. Prop Declan Fitzpatrick retired at the end of the season. Wing Craig Gilroy was named Player of the Year.
In 2015–16, Ulster were knocked out of the Champions Cup at the group stage despite a memorable back to back win over Toulouse. They finished fourth in the Pro12 but reached the semi-finals, losing to Leinster. Wing Jacob Stockdale made his debut from the academy. Centre Stuart McCloskey was Player of the Year.
Before the 2016–17 season, Nick Williams left for Cardiff Blues and Dan Tuohy for Bristol Bears, and Ian Humphreys retired. Ulster signed back row forward Marcell Coetzee, fullback Charles Piutau and lock Kieran Treadwell. Academy flanker Nick Timoney made his debut. Ulster finished the season bottom of their pool in the Heineken Cup, and fifth in the Pro12. Charles Piutau was Player of the Year.
For the 2017–18 season, the Pro12 became the Pro14 with the addition of two South African teams. Head coach Neil Doak's contract was not renewed and he was replaced by Jono Gibbes. Assistant coach Allen Clarke also left, replaced by Dwayne Peel. All-time appearance holder Roger Wilson retired, and scrum-half Ruan Pienaar was blocked by the IRFU from extending his contract. John Cooney was signed from Connacht to replace him.
Before the season started, out-half Paddy Jackson and centre Stuart Olding were charged with rape and suspended from playing pending trial. Both would be acquitted, but have their contracts revoked. Australian out-half Christian Lealiifano was signed on loan. Prop Tom O'Toole made his debut from the academy. After a poor run of form over the Christmas period, Les Kiss resigned as Director of Rugby, and Gibbes cut his contract short, leaving at the end of the season. Ulster finished third in their Champions Cup pool, and fourth in Conference B of the Pro14, failing to qualify for the playoffs and needing to win a playoff to qualify for the next season's Champions Cup. Former Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll described the province as "a bit of a basket case", facing "Administration issues, senior players retiring, the well documented court case, now no number 10 to build the team around, no coach next year, struggling for Champions Cup rugby next season." Scrum-half John Cooney was named Player of the Year.
For the 2018–19 season Dan McFarland was brought in as the new head coach. Jared Payne, Tommy Bowe, Andrew Trimble and Chris Henry all retired, and Charles Piutau left for Bristol Bears. Out-half Billy Burns was signed from Gloucester, prop Marty Moore from Wasps, flanker Jordi Murphy from Leinster, and utility back Will Addison from Sale Sharks. Prop Eric O'Sullivan, wing Robert Baloucoune, centre James Hume, fullback Michael Lowry and flanker Marcus Rea all made their debuts from the academy. Ulster finished the season as quarter-finalists in the Champions Cup, and semi-finalists in the Pro14, losing to Glasgow Warriors. Rory Best and Darren Cave retired at the end of the season. Centre Stuart McCloskey was Player of the Year for the second time.
Lock Iain Henderson was named captain for the 2019–20 season. Ulster were again quarter-finalists in the Champions Cup, going out to Toulouse, and reached the final of the Pro14, losing to Leinster. Centre Stewart Moore and wing Ethan McIlroy made their debuts from the academy, and scrum-half John Cooney was Player of the Year for the second time.
The 2020–21 season was shortened by the Covid-19 pandemic, and games were played behind closed doors. Ulster finished second in Conference A of the Pro14, but failed to make the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and were entered into the Challenge Cup. They progressed to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by Leicester Tigers. The season's final competition was the Pro14 Rainbow Cup, pitting the Pro14's European teams against the four South African teams who were leaving Super Rugby. Ulster's form in this competition was poor, and they finished tenth in the European pool. Marcell Coetzee cut short his contract and left for the Bulls before the end of the season. Academy players Cormac Izuchukwu, Nathan Doak, David McCann, Callum Reid and Aaron Sexton all made their senior debuts this season. Lock Alan O'Connor was Player of the Year.
In 2021–22 the Pro14 became the United Rugby Championship, with the addition of four new South African teams. Ulster made the semi-finals, where they narrowly lost to the Stormers in Cape Town. In the Champions Cup, they made the knockout stage, but went out in a two-legged round of sixteen playoff against Toulouse by an aggregate score of 50-49. Centre James Hume was Player of the Year.
New signings for the 2022-23 season included prop Jeffery Toomaga-Allen. Lock Harry Sheridan and centre Jude Postlethwaite made their senior debuts. Despite a poor run of results in mid-season, Ulster made the knockout stage of the Champions Cup, going out in the round of 16 to Leinster. They became the first European team in the URC to win all four league games against South African opposition, and secured a home quarter-final with a home win over the Bulls in March, which they lost to Connacht. Hooker Tom Stewart scored 16 tries in the URC, a league record, and 17 tries in all competitions, an Ulster record.
|Domestic League||European Cup||Domestic / 'A' Cup|
|Season||Competition||Final Position (Pool)||Points||Play-offs||Competition||Performance||Competition||Performance|
|1995–96||No competition||Heineken Cup||4th in pool||Interprovincial Championship||2nd|
|1996–97||No competition||Heineken Cup||4th in pool||Interprovincial Championship||3rd|
|1997–98||No competition||Heineken Cup||4th in pool||Interprovincial Championship||3rd|
|1998–99||No competition||Heineken Cup||Champions||Interprovincial Championship||2nd|
|1999–00||No competition||Heineken Cup||4th in pool||Interprovincial Championship||2nd|
|2000–01||No competition||Heineken Cup||4th in pool||Interprovincial Championship||2nd|
|2001–02||Celtic League||2nd (A)||13||Semi-final||Heineken Cup||2nd in pool||Interprovincial Championship||2nd|
|2002–03||Celtic League||3rd (A)||22||Semi-final||Heineken Cup||3rd in pool||No competition|
|2003–04||Celtic League||2nd||72||N/A||Heineken Cup||3rd in pool||Celtic Cup||Champions|
|2004–05||Celtic League||8th||43||N/A||Heineken Cup||3rd in pool||Celtic Cup||Quarter-final|
|2005–06||Celtic League||Champions||75||N/A||Heineken Cup||3rd in pool||No competition|
|2006–07||Magners League||5th||55||N/A||Heineken Cup||3rd in pool||No competition|
|2007–08||Magners League||9th||29||N/A||Heineken Cup||4th in pool||No competition|
|2008–09||Magners League||8th||36||N/A||Heineken Cup||3rd in pool||No competition|
|2009–10||Magners League||8th||36||Did not qualify||Heineken Cup||2nd in pool||British and Irish Cup||Semi-final|
|2010–11||Magners League||3rd||67||Semi-final||Heineken Cup||Quarter-final||British and Irish Cup||5th in pool|
|2011–12||RaboDirect PRO12||6th||56||Did not qualify||Heineken Cup||Runner-up||British and Irish Cup||Quarter-final|
|2012–13||RaboDirect PRO12||1st||81||Runner-up||Heineken Cup||Quarter-final||British and Irish Cup||2nd in pool|
|2013–14||RaboDirect PRO12||4th||70||Semi-final||Heineken Cup||Quarter-final||British and Irish Cup||2nd in pool|
|2014–15||Guinness PRO12||4th||69||Semi-final||Champions Cup||3rd in pool||British and Irish Cup||3rd in pool|
|2015–16||Guinness PRO12||4th||69||Semi-final||Champions Cup||2nd in pool||British and Irish Cup||3rd in pool|
|2016–17||Guinness PRO12||5th||68||Did not qualify||Champions Cup||4th in pool||British and Irish Cup||Quarter-final|
|2017–18||Guinness PRO14||4th (B)||62||Did not qualify||Champions Cup||3rd in pool||British and Irish Cup||Quarter-final|
|2018–19||Guinness PRO14||2nd (B)||63||Semi-final||Champions Cup||Quarter-final||Celtic Cup||3rd in pool|
|2019–20||Guinness PRO14||2nd (A)||44||Runner-up||Champions Cup||Quarter-final||Celtic Cup||Runner-up|
|2020–21||Guinness PRO14||2nd (A)||64||Did not qualify||Challenge Cup*||Semi-final||Rainbow Cup||10th in pool|
|2021–22||United Rugby Championship||3rd||59||Semi-final||Champions Cup||Round of 16||URC Shield||2nd in pool|
|2022–23||United Rugby Championship||2nd||68||Quarter-final||Champions Cup||Round of 16||URC Shield||2nd in pool|
Gold background denotes champions
Silver background denotes runner-up
* After dropping into the competition from the Champions Cup/Heineken Cup
|Team||P||W||D||L||PF||PA||PD||TF||TA||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Pts|
|If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
|Green background indicates teams that are playoff places that top their regional pools and earn a place in the 2023–24 European Champions Cup|
Blue background indicates teams that did not top their regional pool but are in play-off places and earn a place in the 2023–24 European Champions Cup
|2022–23 European Rugby Champions Cup Pool B|
|Green background (rows 1 to 8) indicates qualification places for the Champions Cup round of 16.|
Blue background (rows 9 to 10) indicates qualification places for the Challenge Cup round of 16.
Starting table — source: European Professional Club Rugby
The current crest was introduced in 2003. The new, stylised crest is made specific to Ulster Rugby as it incorporates the red hand from the provincial flag of Ulster with two rugby balls. The Ulster Rugby crest is on all official club merchandise including replica jerseys.
The Ravenhill Stadium, known for sponsorship reasons as the Kingspan Stadium since 2014, opened in 1923. It has hosted two Rugby World Cup matches, several Ireland national team matches, the 2015 Pro12 Grand Final and many 2017 Women's Rugby World Cup matches, including the final.
The Premium Stand opened in 2009. In 2011, the Northern Ireland Executive announced that it had granted £138m for various stadium redevelopment projects throughout Northern Ireland. Ulster Rugby received £14.5m, which was used to redevelop Ravenhill and expand its capacity from 12,000 to 18,000. The rest of the redevelopment took place from 2012 to 2014. In 2012, Ulster Rugby confirmed that three new stands would be built at Ravenhill, with work commencing in late 2012. Two new stands at the Memorial and Aquinas ends of the stadium were completed while the main stand was demolished and rebuilt. The major refurbishment was completed in April 2014. After the rest of the redevelopment was completed, the stadium was renamed the Kingspan Stadium.
|Domestic League||European Cup||Total|
|League||Fixtures||Average Attendance||Highest||Lowest||League||Fixtures||Average Attendance||Highest||Lowest||Total Attendance||Average Attendance|
|2005–06 Celtic League||10||9,181||12,300||6,487||2005–06 Heineken Cup||3||12,284||12,300||12,252||128,665||9,897|
|2006–07 Celtic League||10||10,207||12,900||7,429||2006–07 Heineken Cup||3||12,599||12,772||12,278||139,862||10,759|
|2007–08 Celtic League||9||9,661||13,132||6,592||2007–08 Heineken Cup||3||10,335||13,000||8,340||117,956||9,830|
|2008–09 Celtic League||9||9,085||13,500||7,368||2008–09 Heineken Cup||3||9,329||10,397||8,729||109,752||9,146|
|2009–10 Celtic League||9||8,863||11,800||7,334||2009–10 Heineken Cup||3||10,509||11,000||8,262||109,947||9,162|
|2010–11 Celtic League||11||8,476||11,426||6,651||2010–11 Heineken Cup||3||8,863||10,566||7,777||119,829||8,559|
|2011–12 Pro12||11||8,258||11,379||6,296||2011–12 Heineken Cup||3||9,593||11,900||7,494||119,620||8,544|
|2012–13 Pro12||12||10,373||11,078||8,108||2012–13 Heineken Cup||3||11,123||11,451||10,940||157,840||10,523|
|2013–14 Pro12||11||13,348||16,950||10,693||2013–14 Heineken Cup||4||14,464||16,853||12,977||204,678||13,645|
|2014–15 Pro12||11||16,037||17,139||13,501||2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||16,179||16,931||15,659||224,946||16,068|
|2015–16 Pro12||11||15,310||17,332||12,640||2015–16 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||16,111||17,108||15,108||216,740||15,481|
|2016–17 Pro12||11||15,961||17,676||13,663||2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||16,028||16,843||14,924||223,658||15,976|
|2017–18 Pro14||12*||14,026||17,631||7,014||2017–18 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||15,314||15,646||15,004||214,247||14,283|
|2018–19 Pro14||11||13,835||17,358||11,882||2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||14,039||16,842||12,124||194,300||13,879|
|2019–20 Pro14||7‡||13,818||17,483||10,975||2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||17,024||17,923||15,466||147,796||14,780|
Pro14 Rainbow Cup
|0‡||–||–||–||2020–21 European Rugby Champions Cup||0‡||–||–||–||–||–|
|2021–22 United Rugby Championship||10||11,696||16,274||9,542||2021–22 European Rugby Champions Cup||3||14,969||18,196||12,000||161,869||12,452|
|2022–23 United Rugby Championship||10||13,413||16,741||10,858||2022–23 European Rugby Champions Cup||1||18,196||18,196||18,196||152,330||13,848|
|*Match figures inclusive of both Pro14 League fixtures and a European Champions Cup playoff fixture.|
|‡Match figures include fixtures in which Covid-19 restrictions limited attendance, but exclude fixtures in which no spectators were allowed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.|
Up to date as of the 2022–23 season.
For player movements before or during the 2023–24 season, see List of 2023–24 United Rugby Championship transfers § Ulster.
|Ulster Rugby United Rugby Championship squad[a]|
|(c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players. |
* denotes players qualified to play for Ireland on residency or dual nationality.
ST denotes a short-term signing.
Players and their allocated positions from the Ulster Rugby website.
|Ulster Rugby academy squad|
|Number in brackets indicates players stage in the three-year academy cycle.|
* denotes players qualified to play for Ireland on residency or dual nationality.
Players and their allocated positions from the Ulster Rugby website.
|Chief executive officer||Jonny Petrie||Scotland|
|Operations director||Bryn Cunningham||Ireland|
|Head coach||Dan McFarland||England|
|Assistant coach||Dan Soper||New Zealand|
|Defence coach||Jonny Bell||Ireland|
|Forwards coach||Roddy Grant||Scotland|
|Skills coach||Craig Newby||New Zealand|
|Academy manager||Gavin Hogg||Ireland|
|Elite performance development officer||Willie Faloon||Ireland|
|Elite performance development officer||Neil Doak||Ireland|
|December 1912||South Africa||Belfast||Lost||0–19||Match Report|
|5 November 1924||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||6–28||Tour Article|
|December 1931||South Africa||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||3–30||Match Report|
|30 November 1935||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Draw||3–3||Match Report|
|1 December 1951||South Africa||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||5–27||Match Report|
|2 January 1954||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Draw||5–5||Match Report|
|30 November 1957||Australia||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||0–9||Match Report|
|28 January 1961||South Africa||Belfast||Lost||6–19||Match Report|
|25 January 1964||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||5–24||Match Report|
|29 November 1969||South Africa||Ravenhill, Belfast||Draw||0–0*||Tour Article|
|18 November 1972||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||6–19||Match Report|
|3 November 1973||Argentina XV||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||23–13||Match Report|
|16 November 1974||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||15–30||Match Report|
|15 November 1975||Australia||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||25–30||Match Report|
|7 November 1978||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||7–23||Match Report|
|11 October 1980||Romania||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||13–15||Match Report|
|14 November 1981||Australia||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||6–12||Tour article|
|14 November 1984||Australia||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||15–13||Match Report|
|23 October 1985||Fiji||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||23–9||Match Report|
|2 November 1988||Western Samoa||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||47–15||Match Report|
|21 November 1989||New Zealand||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||3–21||Match Report|
|24 October 1992||Australia||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||11–35||Match Report|
|16 November 1996||Australia||Ravenhill, Belfast||Lost||26–39||Match Report|
|10 August 1998||Morocco||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||50–5||Match Report|
|10 November 2008||Portugal||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||62–6||Match Report|
|9 November 2018||Uruguay||Ravenhill, Belfast||Won||21–5||Match Report|
|*Match was cancelled by the Northern Irish government due to concerns that law and order could not be maintained with anti-apartheid demonstrations expected to take place.|
|ASM Clermont Auvergne||8||5||0||3||62.5%|
|Ebbw Vale RFC||2||2||0||0||100.00%|
|*Matches played as part of the Irish Interprovincial Rugby Championship, separate from Celtic League fixtures, are not included in this table.|
| †Results do not include a match between the Benetton and Ulster declared a 0–0 draw due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nor do they include the cancelled Ulster vs Scarlets Rainbow Cup fixture in which Scarlets |
were awarded victory due to positive Covid tests in the Ulster squad.
Updated as of 9 May 2023.
|Coach||Season(s)||GP*||W||D||L||Win %||Loss %||Championships / Notes|
|Harry Williams||1998/99 – 2000/01||41||18||2||21||43.9%||51.2%||European Cup (1998-99)|
|Alan Solomons||2001/02 – 2003/04||63||41||2||20||65.1%||31.7%||2003-04 Celtic Cup|
|Mark McCall||2004/05 – 2007/08 (mid-season)||91||46||3||42||50.5%||46.2%||2005-06 Celtic League|
|Steve Williams||2007/08 (mid-season)||8||2||0||6||25%||75%||Interim|
|Matt Williams||2007/08 (mid-season) – 2008/09||37||15||1||21||40.5%||56.8%|
|Brian McLaughlin||2009/10 – 2011/12||93||54||2||37||58.1%||39.8%|
|Mark Anscombe||2012/13 – 2013/14||69||47||5||17||68.1%||24.6%|
|Neil Doak||2014/15 (mid-season) – 2016/17||85||48||2||35||56.5%||41.2%|
|Dan McFarland||2018/19 –||136||85||3||48||62.5%||35.3%|
|*Games played are inclusive of matches played against touring international sides and friendlies against club opposition.|
|†Bloomfield was Ulster coach from 1993 to 1995. However only matches from the professional era (1995/96 season) are included in this table.|
Bold indicates active player
(correct as of 9 May 2023)
(correct as of 21 January 2023)
|Pens & Cons||David Humphreys||272||1996–2008|
(correct as of 28 January 2022)
Team of the Year
|Competition||Irish players||Overseas players|
|2012–13||Luke Marshall||Nick Williams|
|2013–14||Andrew Trimble||Johann Muller|
|2014–15||Craig Gilroy, Rory Best||Franco van der Merwe|
|2015–16||Craig Gilroy (2)||—|
|2016–17||—||Ruan Pienaar (2), Charles Piutau|
|2018–19||John Cooney (2), Stuart McCloskey||—|
|2019–20||John Cooney (3), Stuart McCloskey (2)||—|
|2020–21||John Cooney (4), Michael Lowry, Eric O'Sullivan||Marcell Coetzee|
|2021–22||James Hume, Nick Timoney||–|
Pro14 Player of the Year
|Competition||Irish players||Overseas players|
Pro14 Individual Awards
|Top Try Scorer||Tommy Bowe (Joint)||2005–06||10|
|Craig Gilroy (Joint)||2015–16||10|
|Marcell Coetzee (Joint)||2020–21||9|
|Top Point Scorer||David Humphreys||2001–02||122|
|John Cooney (2) (Joint)||2020–21||113|
|Young Player of the Year||Luke Marshall||2012–13||N/A|
|Try of the Season||Andrew Trimble (Ulster vs Connacht)||2012–13||N/A|
|Craig Gilroy (Ulster vs Scarlets)||2014–15||N/A|
|Ruan Pienaar (Ulster vs Glasgow Warriors)||2016–17||N/A|
Pro14 Team Awards
The following Ulster players, in addition to representing Ireland, have also represented the British & Irish Lions.
Note: Phillip Matthews played for the Lions in their victory against France in Paris. The game formed part of the celebrations of the bi-centennial of the French Revolution, but did not count as a "formal" Lions international.
of the Year
Player of the Year
of the Year
Player of the Year
|1997–98||Andy Ward||Andy Ward|
|1998–99||Simon Mason||David Humphreys|
|1999–2000||Tony McWhirter||David Humphreys (2)|
|2000–01||Tyrone Howe||Gary Longwell||Tyrone Howe|
|2001–02||David Humphreys||Paddy Wallace||David Humphreys|
|2002–03||Bryn Cunningham||Allen Clarke||Robbi Kempson|
|2003–04||Roger Wilson||Alan Solomons||Andy Ward|
|2004–05||Neil Best||Tommy Bowe||Kieran Campbell|
|2005–06||Andrew Trimble||Justin Harrison||Stephen Ferris|
|2006–07||Roger Wilson (2)||David Humphreys (3)||David Pollock|
|2007–08||Tommy Bowe||Rory Best||Niall O'Connor|
|2008–09||Rory Best||Stephen Ferris||Darren Cave||Stephen Ferris|
|2009–10||Andrew Trimble (2)||Chris Henry||Chris Henry||Jamie Smith||Chris Henry|
|2010–11||Ruan Pienaar||Johann Muller||Johann Muller||Nevin Spence|
|2011–12||Chris Henry||Stephen Ferris (2)||Pedrie Wannenburg||Craig Gilroy|
|2012–13||Andrew Trimble (3)||Nevin Spence||Andrew Trimble||Iain Henderson|
|2013–14||Andrew Trimble (4)||Johann Muller||Andrew Trimble (2)||Paddy Jackson||Andrew Trimble|
|2014–15||Craig Gilroy||Rory Best (2)||Darren Cave||Stuart McCloskey||Craig Gilroy|
|2015–16||Stuart McCloskey||Nick Williams||Paddy Jackson||Kyle McCall||Franco van der Merwe|
|2016–17||Charles Piutau||Ruan Pienaar||Ruan Pienaar||Jacob Stockdale||Sean Reidy|
|2017–18||John Cooney||Paul Marshall||John Cooney||Nick Timoney||John Cooney|
|2018–19||Stuart McCloskey (2)||Rory Best (3)||Stuart McCloskey||Eric O'Sullivan||Marcell Coetzee|
|2019–20||John Cooney (2)||Marcell Coetzee||Marcell Coetzee||Tom O'Toole||Marcell Coetzee (2)|
|2020–21||Alan O'Connor||Iain Henderson||John Cooney (2)||James Hume||Nick Timoney|
|2021–22||James Hume||Ashleigh Orchard||Michael Lowry||Ethan McIlroy||James Hume|
|2022–23||Tom Stewart||Tom Stewart||Stewart Moore||Stuart McCloskey|