New Ulster scrum-half John Cooney aims to challenge for Ireland place

Ulster's new scrum-half John Cooney has ambitions to challenge Kieran Marmion and Luke McGrath for the position of understudy to first-choice Ireland number nine Conor Murray.

Cooney must first try to make the scrum-half position his own at Ulster as he faces the unenviable task of replacing South African Ruan Pienaar, who has joined Montpellier.

Cooney was introduced to Ulster supporters at a social event organised by the Irish province earlier this week.

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Irish Rugby