Tom Stewart, born on January 11, 2001, is a Northern Irish professional rugby union player who currently plays as a hooker for the United Rugby Championship club, Ulster.
Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Stewart attended Belfast Royal Academy, where he displayed his rugby talent and was recognized as the Ulster Schools Player of the Year in 2019. At the under 18 level, he had the honor of captaining Ulster, showcasing his leadership qualities at a young age.
Stewart's promising potential led him to join the Ulster Rugby academy in June 2019, where he further developed his skills and refined his game. His talent was acknowledged when he was selected for the Ireland squad for the 2020 Six Nations Under 20s Championship. He started in the victories against Scotland and Wales before the tournament was abruptly canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In January 2021, Stewart signed a one-year development contract with Ulster, with the intention of transitioning to a senior professional contract for the 2022–23 season. He earned his place in the senior squad for the 2021–22 season and made his senior debut off the bench in a match against Ospreys on December 4, 2021. He marked his first try in a convincing 48-12 home victory against Cardiff on March 4, 2022, highlighting his ability to contribute to the team's success.
Stewart's performances caught the attention of the selectors, earning him a spot in the Emerging Ireland squad for the Toyota Challenge held in South Africa in September 2022, further enhancing his exposure to high-level rugby.
In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Stewart received a call-up to the Ireland squad for the 2023 Six Nations Championship as cover for the injured Rónan Kelleher. He continued to excel throughout the season, setting a new record for the most tries scored in a single United Rugby Championship season. His impressive performance included a second hat trick of the year in a victory over Dragons, bringing his season tally to 16 tries. This achievement earned him the URC's Top Try Scorer award, surpassing the previous records held by Tim Visser and Rabz Maxwane. Additionally, Stewart was honored with the URC's Next-Gen Player of the Season award, recognizing his exceptional talent as a player under 23 years old with fewer than five international caps.
Tom Stewart's rise in the rugby world signifies his immense potential and contribution to Ulster and the Ireland national team.
|2019 - present|
|2022 - present|
|2020 - 2020|
|2023 - 2023|