Stephen Ferris: Ulsterman to reach 100 Caps against Munster

On Friday the 14th of September 2012, the Ravenhill faithful player of the year, Stephen Ferris will reach 100 caps for Ulster. Andy Richardson takes a look back at his time in the Ulster Jersey.

Stephen Ferris

Ferris was signed to the province in the 2005-6 season, on a development contract, as is usual in the Irish game. He made his debut that year against the Borders in October 2005 and has never looked back, signing a full contract the following season. The IRFU must have seen his early potential and he was selected for the U21 side for the Rugby World Cup in Argentina, and then made his debut in the senior side against the newly-formed Pacific Islands in November 2006.

His honours in a green shirt are impressive and include Six Nations Championship and Grand Slam in 2009. The Lions tour to South Africa came beckoning that year and he unfortunately picked up an injury against the Golden Lions before he had the opportunity to become a full test Lion. His performances until then had marked him out as a Test player, and his loss was a severe blow to the tour.

In recent years, a knee injury has hampered Ferris’ progress across all competitions, but he has worked hard with the Ulster back-room staff to continue and it is a credit to them and Ferris’ dogged determination that in 2011 he was part of the Ireland Squad that beat Australia in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup.

Last season for Ulster, he received three Man of the Match awards, which included the now legendary win at Thomond Park over Munster in the Heineken Cup, and he was subsequently nominated for ERC player of the year and won Personality of the Year for Ulster.

Against Munster this Friday night, Ravenhill will be loud. The travelling Munster team, although welcome, will face an intense atmosphere that the stadium itself produces. The fans are so close to the side of the pitch and the incessant ‘Ulster, Ulster’ crys are deafening – the crowd will be in fine voice and they no doubt will ‘Stand up for the Ulsterman’ Stephen Ferris.

Check out the video below in which Ferris gives his thoughts on the highs and lows of his career, and what it means to play in the inter-provincial games.

By Andy Richardson

6 thoughts on “Stephen Ferris: Ulsterman to reach 100 Caps against Munster

  1. Awesome player, moment of the year last season would have to be the Will Genia pick up!

    Let’s hope his knee stays okay for the future and he’ll be a contender for the Lions tour of 2013.

  2. Great read but with his history of serious injuries should he be protected for the Heineken cup?? Maybe Robbie Diack should play instead?

    1. Diack’s injured I’m afraid Barry, on another note has anybody else noticed O’Connor’s demotion at fly-half not just to the bench but to the A-Squad! Anscombe was serious when he said selecting on form.

  3. Hi Barry thanks for your comments. Short answer no. longer answer definately no. Unfortunately Robbie Diack is still trying to overcome a leg injury sustained against Glasgow, a match that he won Man of the Match. Ferris is the Ulsterman that lifts the team and although Diack is a suitable replacement not quite in his league. In games so big as the Inter-pros a strong side should always be selected.

    Big players like Henry and Tuohy have been annouced in th Ravens squad for the Munster A game tomorrow at Deramore Park.

  4. Would have said that tom croft was nearly the player of the series in 2009 somewhat easing the blow of losing Ferris. No doubting he’s a class act but he’d do better with more competition I feel. So many options for the lions next year, so much talent and class.

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