Ulster Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland.
The team compete in the United Rugby Championship and the Heineken Champions Cup. The team represents the IRFU Ulster Branch, which is one of the four primary branches of the IRFU and is responsible for rugby union throughout the geographical Irish province of Ulster, comprising six counties in Northern Ireland and three in the Republic of Ireland.
Ulster play their home games at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast which has a capacity of 18,000. The province plays primarily in white and the team crest features a red hand within two rugby balls, the red hand being taken from the provincial flag of Ulster.
Ulster turned professional along with its fellow Irish provinces in 1995 and has competed in the PRO14 (previously Celtic League / PRO12) since it was founded in 2001, having previously competed in the annual interprovincial championship. Ulster A team compete in the British and Irish Cup. Ulster won the Heineken Cup in 1999, the Celtic Cup in 2003 and the Celtic League in 2006.
In November 2012, work began on a £14.7 million redevelopment of Ravenhill Rugby Grounds. The project, funded by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, (DCAL) saw three new stands built at the ground. The redevelopment saw capacity increase from 11,000 to 18,000 and saw Kingspan Stadium become one of the most modern and state of the art rugby stadiums in Europe.
In June 2014, Ulster Rugby signed a 10-year agreement with the Kingspan Group, the world’s leading provider of sustainable building materials, for the naming rights to what is now known as Kingspan Stadium. The agreement will result in significant investment for the game of rugby at all levels within the Province.