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Irish wing Stockdale signs new IRFU contract

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Dublin (AFP)

Jacob Stockdale, the 2018 Six Nations player of the tournament, has signed a new three-year contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union the latter announced on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Ulster wing has scored 16 tries in 26 Tests, including seven as Ireland claimed the Grand Slam two years ago, and has committed himself up to the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

Stockdale, who will seek to open his account in this year's Six Nations against present Grand Slam holders Wales on Saturday, said exciting things were happening for both his province and national side.

"I am delighted to have signed an IRFU contract," he said.

"I am involved with two ambitious squads and I know I will continue to develop as a player in both environments.

"Things have been going really well at Ulster and there are exciting things happening in the Ireland set-up."

David Nucifora, the IRFU Performance Director, said Stockdale -- who made his Test debut against the United States in 2017 -- was not yet the finished article and he looked forward to developing him as a player.

"Jacob has continued to grow as a player after bursting onto the scheme in his debut Six nations season," said Nucifora.

"He has performed at a consistently high level for both Ireland and Ulster and has huge potential to develop further on the international stage."

Stockdale is the second young star to sign a new contract with the IRFU this week after 23-year-old lock James Ryan agreed a three-year deal on Wednesday.

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