The Ulster ‘A’ team, sponsored by CD Group, compete in the Celtic Cup as well as having Inter-Provincial fixtures against Munster, Leinster and Connacht. The side is made up of Professional, Development, Academy and Club players.
The Celtic Cup will be contested by development squads from the four Irish Provinces plus the four Welsh regions, and is aimed at providing a learning environment for emerging professional players, coaches and referees by recreating the week-to-week challenges presented by senior professional rugby.
The new competition replaces the British & Irish Cup, which proved to be a particularly useful testing ground for young Ulster players such as Jacob Stockdale, John Andrew, Ross Kane and Rob Lyttle in recent years.
The eight teams will be divided into two conferences of four Welsh regions and four Irish provinces. Each Irish province will play each of the Welsh regions and will play against two Irish provinces. Similarly, the Welsh regions will play each of the Irish provinces and will play two of their Welsh counterparts. The top-ranked province from the Irish conference will play the top-ranked region from the Welsh conference in the inaugural final (venue to be confirmed).
Ulster A’s Celtic Cup Fixtures 2018
Ulster A 28-43 Leinster A
Friday 7th September at Malone RFC (5.00pm)
Ulster A 15-45 Scarlets A
Friday 14th September at Instonians/Cooke RFC (7.00pm)
Cardiff Blues A 3-7 Ulster A
Saturday 22nd September at Cardiff Arms Park (2.30pm)
Ulster A v Dragons A
Saturday 29th September at Ballymena RFC (2.30pm)
Ospreys A v Ulster A
Friday 5th October at Swansea RFC (7.00pm)
Connacht A v Ulster A
October 12th-14th, TBC
CD Group has been a sponsor of Ulster Rugby since 2013, with key support for the Ulster A team, where the team jersey features the CD Group logo on the sleeves and the Apec Braking logo on the back.
As the largest distributor of vehicle replacement parts in Ireland, CD Group uses their trademark white vans with red stripes to make deliveries to over 350 customers every day, throughout the 32 counties, from locations in Mallusk, Dublin and Cork.
Managing Director, Terry Knox, re-enforced the company’s sponsorship in saying “We are a family business who identify with the professionalism of Ulster Rugby. We are proud to trade throughout Ireland and we are proud of where we hail from. This association allows us to show our support for rugby and rubber stamp our commitment to the province. To be able to specifically support the A team works well for us as it provides opportunities for up and coming players whilst also offering game time for more of the senior squad. This mirrors the support function that we feel that CD Group offers our customers to best service mechanics in Ireland.”
For more information please visit the CD Group website.