Olding by name, young and promising by nature, writes Kristian Ross…
The season ended. The runners up medals were collected. Players were left disappointed. Ulster Rugby had very narrowly missed out on becoming PRO12 champions. It was of course hard to take. But over the course of the year their had been many positives, and one of those positives was a young player called Stuart Olding.
Olding had played in the Ulster Ravens squad but has established himself as a first team player this year in what has been a whirlwind twelve months for the twenty year old. His early season appearances saw him play at fly half but it was clear from his pace and attacking flair that he was more suited at the inside centre position. Needless to say he has excelled in that role and scored domestic tries against Glasgow, Connacht, Cardiff Blues and a memorable score against Benetton Treviso that certainly has put him on the radar.
With many experienced Ireland players coming to the end of their careers it has to be said that youth has to be nurtured and that players like Olding must be found. He won his first Ireland cap in the victory of the United States in Houston this summer and it has shown the catalyst of what is to come. On the announcement of Olding being included in that match day squad, interim coach Les Kiss said "Stuart has come home like a train this season, he had a fantastic end to the season and is deserving of the opportunity’’.
Sometimes you look at a player and you know that he is that something special on a rugby field.... I think he may just be one of those.
I'm Kristian. 19. And my mind is filled with rugby shaped thoughts. Supporting Ulster Rugby, Newcastle Falcons and of course the mighty Ireland. Tommy Bowe is the MAN !!!! SUFTUM.