Arguably the fastest rugby athlete in Ireland has broken two sprinting records at the Ulster Schools Athletics Championships.


18-year-old Aaron Sexton broke both the 100 metres and the 200 metres records at the event at the Antrim Forum on Saturday.

Considerable hype is starting to build around the 6’4, 95kg Ulster A wing, who has represented Ireland at U19 level and made his full Ulster debut last year as a 17-year-old against Gloucester. He’s also being named checked by senior Ulster players, with scrumhalf John Cooney publicly predicting big things for Sexton.

The Bangor Grammar student won gold in the Senior Boys 100m with a New Ulster Record time of 10.49 seconds, and later won the 200 metres with a time of 21.20 seconds.

Last year – aged just 17 – Sexton smashed the Northern Irish Boys 100m record with a time of 10.52 seconds in winning the all-island Irish Schools Athletics Championships. He also went on to win the 200m title in 21.12 seconds.

Later the same year he took his 200m time down further to 21.06 at the World Under-20 Championships in Finland.


Sexton is probably the fastest man in Irish rugby. Ulster Rugby have clocked him with GPS at 37.8 km per hour, which equates to 10.5 metres a second. The only Irish player to rival that time is Leinster’s Barry Daly, who also clocked a 10.5 metres a second on his GPS unit.

A 10.5 metre per second time puts him considerably faster either the 10 metres per seconds of fellow teammate Rory Scholes or the 9.97 mps of Ireland star Jacob Stockdale. It’s also the guts of a metre per second faster than former Munster and Ireland star Simon Zebo, who clocked a 9.85 mps at Munster.

While 10.49 seconds is an impressive time, especially given his size, it is by no means unique. In the southern hemisphere a bidding war has opened up over New Zealand born sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia. The 17-year-old dominated sports headlines in New Zealand media earlier this year for his exploits in track and field.

He clocked a blistering personal best time of 10.19 seconds, and he’s already New Zealand’s fourth fastest sprinter.


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