Guinness PRO12 rising stars: Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale

Daniel Barnes
24 July 2017

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After being narrowly pipped to the Guinness PRO12 semi-finals last season by a single point, it was a campaign of near-misses for Ulster.

The Ulstermen put in some impressive performances during the 2016-17 season but were edged out by Ospreys on the final day.

Despite finishing in the unlucky position of fifth place, Ulster have a lot to be excited about for their next Guinness PRO12 campaign, and that includes 21-year-old Jacob Stockdale.

The Lisburn man had a fine first year and has emerged as one of the most exciting starlets to watch in the championship.

Unlimited potential

The young centre was always destined to hit the heights after being voted Ulster schools player of the year while at Wallace High School.

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A graduate of the Ulster Rugby Academy, Stockdale made his senior debut when he was just 18-years-old and hasn’t looked back.

Stockdale has since established himself in the senior side and is justifiably a part of a star-laden pool of backs, making 18 appearances last season.

After a successful Ireland Under-20 career, the Ulsterman can look forward to more regular Guinness PRO12 playing time.

A point-scoring machine

Stockdale is an incredibly powerful runner with ball in hand and certainly has his eyes firmly set on the try-line.

The starlet scored an impressive nine tries last season and clocked up a total of 45 points as he nailed down his first-team place.

The fresh-faced centre’s reputation is certainly growing all the time and after string of fine performances last season, he signed a new deal with his boyhood team.

International pedigree

His fine form for Les Kiss’ side during the season was deservedly rewarded by Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who opted to take him on their tour of the United States and Japan.

The international rookie made his maiden appearance during the 35-13 victory over Japan at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo and impressed Schmidt with his energy and power.

At just 21, Stockdale has plenty of years left in the tank and should be a thrilling prospect for any Ulster fan next campaign.

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