Stephen Ferris

Stephen Ferris
Date of birth (1985-08-02) 2 August 1985
Place of birth Maghaberry, Northern Ireland
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 18 st 3.7 lb (116.0 kg)
School Friends' School, Lisburn
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Blindside Flanker
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2005–2014 Ulster 106 (60)
correct as of 3 June 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Ireland A
British and Irish Lions
correct as of 18 Mar 2012.

Stephen Ferris (born 2 August 1985) is a retired Irish rugby union player who played for Ulster and represented Ireland internationally. Ferris played club rugby with Dungannon. He is from Maghaberry and attended Friends' School Lisburn. He played for Ulster and Ireland in all three backrow positions. Ferris retired for rugby in June 2014 after a long-standing ankle injury ended his career.[1][2][3][4]


Ferris graduated from the Ulster Academy and joined Ulster Rugby on a development contract at the start of the 2005–06 season. He was named in the Ireland Under-20 Rugby World Cup Squad in 2005. He made his Ulster debut against Border Reivers in October 2005. Ferris made his full Ireland debut against Pacific Islanders in November 2006. Ferris was selected for the Ireland Rugby World Cup squad in 2007 but was an unused reserve at the tournament. Injury ruled Ferris out of the 2008 Six Nations, but good early season form for Ulster saw him rewarded with three further caps during Ireland's end of year campaign. He earned his fifth Irish cap against Australia in June 2008.

He retained his place for the following year's Six Nations and was an ever-present as Declan Kidney's side clinched the Grand Slam.[5]

Ferris was selected as part of the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.[6]

He scored his first Lions try on 3 June, against the Golden Lions but was forced to withdraw from the squad on Tuesday 9 June after he tore the medial collateral ligament in his right knee during a training session. He was replaced by Wales captain Ryan Jones.[7]

He made his international return for the autumn series later the same year and featured strongly in the hard-fought draw with Australia and the impressive victory over South Africa, 15–10.[8] Ferris played in four of Ireland's 2010 Six Nations matches, but missed the 2010 Summer Tour through injury. However, he made his international comeback during the 2010 November Tests, scoring his first international try against New Zealand at the new Landsdowne Road, and scoring his second against Argentina. He missed the 2011 Six Nations, and the latter half of the 2010/2011 season through injury, but returned for Ireland against France on 20 August during a 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up test, having been included in Ireland's training squad for the 2011 World Cup.[9] During the campaign, Ferris shone in their historic win over Australia in the group stages. He adopted the now famous 'wrap around' tackle to prevent the Wallabies from getting quick ball as Declan Kidney's men ran out 15–6 winners. Ireland eventually bowed out to Wales in the quarter-finals but Ferris was one of the standout players in the tournament.

Going into the 2011–12 season, Ulster and Ferris shone on the European stage with the Irish side putting in a memorable 41–7 win over Leicester at Ravenhill during the Heineken Cup group stages.[10] Despite injury, Ferris performed valiantly earning man of the match honours during Ulster's Heineken cup quarter final victory over Munster. Due to his strong performances Ferris was nominated for the ERC European Player of the Year 2012.[11] Ulster ended up losing to Leinster in the 2012 Heineken Cup Final, 42–14.[12] Ferris last played against Edinburgh in November 2012, due to an ankle injury he sustained. This injury prevented a potentially lucrative move to Japan. He has since remained at Ulster on a short term contract as he undergoes rehabilitation, and has recently returned against the Scarlets on the 14 March 2014 where he came off the bench to a standing ovation after a 15-month absence. Ulster went on to win the Scarlets match 26–13.[13]


  2. "Stephen Ferris announces his retirement from rugby at 28". Irish Independent. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  3. "Fearless Ferris forced to admit defeat as injury ends career". Irish Examiner. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  4. "'I think I just need a break from rugby' – Stephen Ferris on his retirement". The Score. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  5. "2009 Six Nations". BBC Sport. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
  6. "Ferris is among 14 Ireland Lions.". BBC Sport. 21 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  7. "Jones called up after Ferris blow". BBC Sport. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2009.
  8. "Stephen Ferris".
  9. "Stephen Ferris".
  10. "Stephen Ferris".
  11. "Leinster and Ulster dominate-player-award/".
  12. "Heineken Cup 2012: Brian O'Driscoll overwhelmed by Leinster's record-breaking victory over Ulster".
  13. "". External link in |title= (help);

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