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Ulster out-half Billy Burns has put pen-to-paper on a new two-year deal to keep him with the province until the summer of 2022. 

The 25-year old has been an instant hit at Kingspan Stadium following his summer 2018 arrival from Gloucester.

Burns has gone on to make 28 appearances for Ulster, scoring 54 points in the process.

20 of those 28 appearances have come as starts in a highly successful half-back partnership with scrum-half John Cooney.

Burns has even had the chance to captain the province in their Guinness Pro 14 victory at home to Cardiff Blues earlier this season.

He's played for England at U18 and U20 levels, but qualifies for Ireland through his paternal grandfather. He's yet to feature in an Ireland squad.

Speaking about his fresh extension, Burns told Ulster's website, "Since joining Ulster last summer, I’ve made it my home and have really enjoyed my time here.

"The support I’ve had has been incredible and we have a great group of players, so it was a no-brainer for me to extend my contract.

"Kingspan Stadium is a great place to play rugby and I’m really pleased that I’ve got at least another couple of years of that to look forward to."

Head coach Dan McFarland is chuffed to keep Burns on board, "It is great news that Billy has committed to Ulster.

"He is still a young man who is desperate to keep learning and developing both as a player and athlete.

"He has already contributed hugely on the pitch throughout last year’s campaign, and has demonstrated an excellent ability to lead a team.

"We’re all looking forward to Billy being a driving force in our group into the future."

Injuries

The Burns contract extension is a chink of light on a bad day on the injury front for Ulster.

Jack McGrath and Sam Carter both require surgery ahead of Friday's Heineken Champions Cup visit of Clermont Auvergne to Kingspan Stadium.

Carter suffered a dislocated shoulder in last weekend's win away to Bath, and surgery is expected to rule him out for up to three months.

McGrath must go under the knife for a thumb injury, and the province say his availability will be monitored over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Rob Lyttle has been ruled out for an estimated six to eight weeks due to a shoulder injury.

And Marcus Rea suffered a fractured jaw while on club duty with Ballynahinch and will be out for approximately six weeks.

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Billy Burns Guinness Pro 14 Heineken Champions Cup Jack Mcgrath Rob Lyttle Sam Carter Ulster

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