Michael Lowry agrees to Ulster up to 2025, as coach Jared Payne signs a deal to join Clermont Auvergne

Michael Lowry
Michael Lowry scored 2 tries in Ireland’s February win over Italy

After signing a three year contract, Michael Lowry, Ulster's fullback, will remain with the Irish province at least until 2025.

The 23-year-old scored two tries against Italy in February in his Ireland debut. It was an exceptional season.

Lowry said, “I'm pleased to extend my stay with Ulster.”

Jared Payne, Ulster's defence coach, will be leaving to assume a similar role at Clermont Auvergne for next season.

Payne, 36, has agreed to a two year deal with the French Top 14 team.

This will see him join Jono Gibbes, former Ulster head coach and Clermont boss who took over in 2021.

Payne's departure was known since January, and the Irish province confirmed that Jonny Bell, their former centre, would be taking over as defence coach starting next season.

Jared Payne
Jared Payne will be joining ex-Ulster head Coach Jono Gibbes at Clermont Auvergne

“I want be part of something unique”

Lowry is the third Ulster player this week to sign a three year contract, following new contracts for Stewart Moore and Robert Baloucoune.

He stated, “I am excited to see what the next few seasons can achieve and I definitely want to play a part in something special with that group.”

Lowry has been nominated as the 2022 European Player of the year. He has also scored points for Ulster at the Champions Cup, and the United Rugby Championship.

He was repeatedly named as one of the top players in both the competitions for metres and defenders defeated.

Ulster coach Dan McFarland said that Mike has been a key part of our team, and the squad has evolved over the years to a Test-level 15.

“This has been no surprise. It is due to his inherent determination and toughness. He also has a strong desire to continue learning and stardust, something that not many players have.

“He's had a fantastic season, and I know Mike is going to be the leader of this group of players moving forward.”

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