Former Ulster and Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris has responded to The Belfast Telegraph after it exposed Craig Gilroy training with someone from outside his household during lockdown.

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The paper used a photo that the winger briefly shared on Instagram of him training outside with someone who it said is not believed to be a member of his household. People are currently advised in Northern Ireland not to leave their house for anything other than essential travel, which includes shopping and exercise, and this should be down either individually or with someone from the same house.

Gilroy is not the first player to be exposed by the paper, who have highlighted which players have gone against regulations during the coronavirus pandemic. The paper also snapped brothers Alan and David O’Connor (both who live in the same household) and Marty Moore training in a Belfast city park.

However, Ferris, who played for the province for nine years before retiring in 2009, has taken exception to players being singled out and appears to feel that they are being excessively criticised.

He said on Twitter:

“Yet another embarrassing article. Please Belfast Telegraph I’m urging you to stop with this utter rubbish.

“You have done so much for Ulster Rugby over the years in a positive way…. it’s your 150th year, make it a good one for crying out loud.”

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Some might argue that in the current circumstances, The Belfast Telegraph are at liberty to highlight those that may be flouting regulations, but by the same token, Ferris is also entitled to defend the players, particularly given a photo doesn’t necessarily paint the entire picture.

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