Guinness PRO12: Willie Faloon to rejoin Ulster from Connacht
Former Ulster Academy product set for return to Ravenhill on a one-year deal at the end of the season
Willie Faloon will return to Ulster Rugby on a one-year deal in the summer.
The 28-year-old Connacht flanker, who hails from Armagh, spent four seasons at Ravenhill after coming through the Ulster Academy.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Galway and in the next few months I am completely focused on helping Connacht be successful in both the PRO12 and the European Rugby Challenge Cup.
With game time limited in Belfast, Faloon headed west to Connacht in 2012 after 63 appearances for his home province, and has made 39 appearances and scored six tries to date under Connacht head coaches Eric Elwood and Pat Lam.
“While I am pleased to be returning to Ulster, I want to thank the coaches and fans of Connacht who have backed me over the past three seasons,” Faloon said.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Galway and in the next few months I am completely focused on helping Connacht be successful in both the PRO12 and the European Rugby Challenge Cup.”
Despite being named in the Ireland Wolfhounds team in 2012, picking up the Connacht Supporters Club player of the year award at the end of the 2012/13 season, and continuing to impress for his province at openside, the flanker has again found himself unable to hold down his place in the team.
Connacht aren’t short of back-row talent with Jake Heenan and Eoin McKeon pushing as well as Academy players Eoghan Masterson, James Connolly and Rory Moloney all coming through under Lam.
And the Connacht head coach accepts that Faloon’s difficult decision to return home.
“When Ulster Rugby approached us about the potential move, the first thing we did was sit down with the player and discuss the different options,” Lam said.
“There was an opportunity for Willie to play first team rugby for the province where he is from and we were all supportive of the decision which wasn’t taken lightly.
“Willie is an excellent team man and someone who really bought into the Connacht culture and earned the upper most respect of his team mates and coaches.”