RUGBY: Ulster stars join Instonians on coaching ticket

Ulster's Roger Wilson
Ulster's Roger Wilson

Instonians have boosted their prospects of returning to senior rugby by adding Ulster and Ireland No8 Rodger Wilson and former Ulster and Ireland ‘A’ lock Lewis Stevenson to their coaching ticket next season.

Wilson capped once by Ireland was a two time schools cup winner with RBAI in 1998 and 2000, he has amassed over 200 caps for Ulster helping the province to Celtic League glory in 2006 and played over 100 times for Northampton Saints collecting a Heineken Cup runners up medal.

In the last year of his contact at Kingspan Stadium the 34 year old is delighted to be taking up a coaching role with the Shaw’s Bridge club.

“To have the opportunity to coach Instonians really excites me. They have a young talented playing squad and I can’t wait to join up with the new coaching group and get started,” said Wilson.

Stevenson will become a player coach at the Belfast club after returning home for a short spell with Exeter Chiefs.

The second row spend two years in the Premiership with Harlequins before leaving in 2011 to comeback to Ulster and played 89 times.

“I’m really looking forward to coaching and playing for Instonians RFC for the coming season and bringing the intensity and focus of a professional rugby player. I’ve met the guys and am eager to get into the season,” commented Stevenson.

Last season’s head coach Wilbur Leacock will take up a new role as Director of Rugby, while Mark McDowell who was responsible for the backs over the last four years becomes the head coach with Brain Barrett moving to an operational role at the club.

Inst were relegated from senior rugby in 2014 and in their first season in junior rugby they did a league and cup double but last year Bangor beat them to the Qualifying One title and the Junior Cup.