Time right to leave Ulster, says Court

The lure of a three-year contract offer from London Irish was plenty enough to convince Tom Court it was time to leave Ulster and potentially international rugby with Ireland behind.

At the age of 33 and with his two-year Ulster deal up at the end of this season, Court, pictured, could not be blamed for signing up with the Aviva Premiership outfit, also home to former Ulster fly-half Ian Humphreys, ex-Leinster front rower Jamie Hagan and former Munster scrum-half Tomás O’Leary.

Having been left out of successive Ireland squads by Declan Kidney following the Irish front-row capitulation at Twickenham in March 2012, when the loosehead was asked to cover for injured tighthead Mike Ross, Court has earned his place back in the international set-up under new national head coach Joe Schmidt.

Yet he lost out to Jack McGrath and Cian Healy for a place in the matchday squad that faced Samoa last weekend and with McGrath’s man of the match performance underlining his ascendancy, as well the rising stars in Munster of Dave Kilcoyne and James Cronin, the competition for places at loosehead prop is hotter than ever.

Yet Australian-born Court, capped 32 times by Ireland, has been in peak form for Ulster this season&.

“I feel that this is the right decision with regards to me and my career,” Court said. “It is going to be very sad when the time comes to actually leave and finish up, but there is a lot of rugby left for me with the Province. There are six months remaining of this season, so there is even more motivation for me to make the most of it while I am here and to try and help Ulster win something.”


Lifestyle

Helen O’Callaghan on the dangers of products high in caffeine.The dangers of energy drinks full of sugar

When bride-to-be Alma Clohessy enlisted her mother Rita’s help in planning her wedding, they made the most of every precious moment together.Wedding of the Week: 'It was the best, yet most emotional day of my life'

As you may be aware, new rules around motor insurance documentation have been introduced. The rules are aimed at improving transparency for consumers but a broker is warning they may have unintended consequences and could cause some confusion among policy holders.Drive a hard bargain for better car insurance

When Peter Ryan lost 90% of his vision in his early 20s, his readjustment was emotionally painful, but maturing, says Helen O’CallaghanA new way of seeing the world: Peter Ryan talks about losing 90% of his sight in his early 20s

More From The Irish Examiner