Ulster Rugby v Dragons


Hooker Adam McBurney says he is revelling in his newfound role within the Ulster squad this season after an extended run in the first team.

McBurney, 22, has made six appearances so far this season across the Guinness PRO14 and the Heineken Champions Cup and has shown plenty of signs of his potential, leading to him earning his first start in an Ulster jersey away to Munster last month. Having come through the Abbey Insurance Ulster Academy following a youth career at Randalstown RFC, the former Ireland U20s star is now in the first year of a development deal with the Province and has so far made a big impact. "I’m really enjoying the season so far,” says McBurney. "A couple of results haven’t gone our way but I’m really happy to be involved. "The Munster result was particularly disappointing because that was my first start and we didn’t do too well, but it was a great experience to beat Leicester here and in a couple of other big games such as Scarlets and Edinburgh here, so it’s going alright. "It’s a big positive for me to be involved as much as I have been and I'm happy at the moment." Last season McBurney was only just breaking into the Ulster squad, making his debut away to

Zebre in the PRO14, while playing the majority of his rugby in either the British & Irish Cup or the All-Ireland League. This year has been a different story, and he's already been opposite some big names in the shape of British & Irish Lions such as Ken Owens and Tom Youngs, and an international in Racing's Camille Chat. "I’m in the same team as Rory Best, who’s an international hooker and a British & Irish Lion, so the hookers I’m playing with and against are top quality, and I’m learning as much as I can from them," insists McBurney. "Because I’m training behind the likes of Rory and Rob (Herring), when I come up against hookers like that (Owens et al.), it almost makes it a little bit easier because I don’t have the same fear factor as when I came up against hookers like that before.” With Best and Herring about to head away with Ireland for the November internationals, more chances will inevitably fall McBurney's way, and his recent performances are anything to go by, the 22-year-old will be more than ready.



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