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Ulster confirm a nine-strong leavers list that includes Dave Ewers

By Liam Heagney
Ulster's Dave Ewers (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Former Exeter double winner Dave Ewers is one of nine players named on the Ulster leavers list who will be farewelled at this Saturday’s home match versus Leinster in the United Rugby Championship.

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The 33-year-old, a one-time England hopeful when Eddie Jones was in charge, joined the Irish province last summer following the massive clear-out that took place at the Chiefs after Rob Baxter decided to break up their Gallagher Premiership/Champions Cup-winning side of 2020.

Ewers took up a one-year deal at Ulster under Dan McFarland but with Richie Murphy now confirmed as the Irish province’s new boss on a two-year contract, the back-rower will now exit the Kingspan Stadium.

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The departure of Springboks prop Steven Kitshoff back to the Stormers, Billy Burns to Munster, and the retirements of Luke Marshall and Angus Curtis were already known.

However, the list of leavers has also officially confirmed the exits of Will Addison, the former Ireland full-back, and Greg Jones, a back-rower in the Ireland age-grade side beaten by England in the 2016 Junior World Championship.

Fixture
United Rugby Championship
Ulster
23 - 21
Full-time
Leinster
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A statement read: “At this Saturday’s interpro fixture versus Leinster, the club will thank the nine players, with a combined 420 caps of service, departing the province at the end of this season.

“Supporters will have the opportunity to say a fond farewell to the senior men’s players confirmed today by the club as this season’s leavers.”

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Ulster leavers list:
Luke Marshall (166 – retired)
Billy Burns (111)
Greg Jones (44)
Will Addison (41)
Angus Curtis (25 – retired)
Steven Kitshoff (14)
Dave Ewers (14)
James French (4)
Shea O’Brien (1)

Bryn Cunningham, head of rugby operations and recruitment, said: “On behalf of everyone at Ulster, I would like to say thank you to the players that will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

“Despite all being at various stages of their careers, with some having spent many years at the club and others at the start of their professional rugby, it is important to acknowledge the positive impact that each individual has made on the club, both on and off the pitch and in terms of their professionalism day in, day out.

“I would, however, like to give special mention to Luke having been a proud servant of Ulster for the past 15 years.

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“He epitomises what it is to be one of the Ulster men after starting with Ballymena RFC and going on to represent his club, country, and family at the highest level of the game. He is the template in terms of character for what pathway players should aspire to be.

“We look forward to joining with supporters on Saturday night to mark the contribution of this group and wish them the best for the future.”

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Jon 26 minutes ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

> it was apparent Robertson was worried about his lack of experience at half-back, hence the decision to start veteran TJ Perenara and put Finlay Christie, the next most experienced number nine, on the bench. I don’t think it was this at all. It was a general scope he was putting over all the playerbase, he went with this cohesion factor in every position. > If the main priority is to build different tactical elements to the gameplan, then Ratima is the man in whom Robertson needs to trust and promote. This also I think is antagonist towards the reference game plans. The other plans do not need the speed of which Perenara (atleast) can’t provide, and I think personal is going to be the main point of difference between these games/opponents. That is the aspect of which I think most people will struggle to grasp, a horses for course selection policy over the typical ‘Top All Black 15’. That best 15 group of players is going to have to get broken down into categories. So it test one we saw Christie control the game to nullify the English threats out of existence and grind to a win. In test two we saw Ratima need to come on which dictated that this time they would run them off their feet with speed and the space did open up and the victory did come. Horses for courses. The same concepts are going to exist for every group, front row, lock and loose forward balance, midfield, and outside backs all can have positional changes that the players may be asked to accentualize on and develop. There might be some that _it_ will not ever click for, but they’ll hopefully still be getting to enjoy unbelievable comeback victories and late game shutouts to close it down. Knowing does not mean not enjoying.

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Wonton 7 hours ago
Why Scott Robertson may need to ease big names aside for All Blacks' flexibility

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