Ulster give Stephen Ferris six-month deal

Ireland backrow has to prove he can play at the top level again after slew of injuries

 Stephen Ferris hoping to make recovery within the Ulster set-up.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Stephen Ferris hoping to make recovery within the Ulster set-up. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 17:14

Stephen Ferris has six months to prove he can play professional rugby again.

After a third ankle operation this year, which scuppered a lucrative move to Japan, Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys has given the 27-year- old a contract extension until December.

The 35 times capped Ireland flanker has not played since suffering the latest in an long line of injuries against Edinburgh last November.

“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,” said Humphreys.

A member of the 2009 Grand Slam winning backrow, Ferris hasalso made 102 appearances for Ulster since 2005. He also was primed to be capped by the British and Irish Lions against the Springboks in 2009, only for ligament damage of his right knee. He has also injured the left knee.

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.”