Ulster Rugby today confirmed the signings of talented young back row players Charlie Butterworth and Sean Reidy ahead of the 2014/15 season.
Charlie Butterworth, who can operate at openside or blindside flanker, joins on a one-year contract from Ulster Bank League outfit Landsdowne. The 23-year-old Wicklow native was a key player as the Dublin side won the Division 1A title in 2012/13.
Sean Reidy has signed a short term deal with the province after impressing with Counties Manukau Steelers in New Zealand.
The 25-year-old can play across the back row and is Irish-qualified through his grandfather who hailed from Castlegregory, County Kerry.
The additions will give Ulster even more depth in an already strong area. The province currently have three back row players on tour with Ireland in Argentina, while Roger Wilson played for a World XV against South Africa last weekend and they also have Nick Williams on the books.
And with young indigenous talent like Conor Joyce emerging too, it will provide the coaches with plenty of options for next season.
Butterworth, who played for the Ireland Club XV this year, is delighted to have signed his first professional contract, stating: "I can't wait to get started, it will be brilliant to be involved. Ulster are one of the best teams in Europe, if not the world, at the moment and it was a 'no-brainer' once David Humphreys offered me the contract.
"When I got the chance to go up and have a look at the facilities I was just really blown away. It's a top class stadium - everything is state of the art and I can't wait to start training."
Reidy is also relishing the prospect of joining the Ulster squad for their pre-season regime, admitting: "I had heard a lot about Ulster before I signed. They are a team with a lot of history and tradition but have done really well in their competitions recently and are a team on the up.
"It's a great opportunity for me to go over and learn from the coaches and try to develop my game."
You've finished training but what should you eat to help your body to recover? Getting the balance right is all important so check out #Eat2Compete and download the factsheets on www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete.
Eating the right food is only one part of nutrition for young players. Hydration is a key element. How much? How often? Check out our #Eat2Compete guide to hydration and download the factsheets from www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete.
Simple tips for young players to keep healthy throughout the season - 'Eat Well, Stay Well, Play Well' - it will benefit you on and off the field. For more check out #Eat2Compete or www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete
Speaking after the 3rd/4th place play-off defeat to France, Ireland Women's head coach Philip Doyle said: "Semi-final of a World Cup, ranked fourth - I'm absolutely thrilled with that. It's one step, we've learned a huge amount at this World Cup. We'll put it in the bank now and hopefully, in three years' time at the next World Cup, another Irish team will be there (competing in the last-four)."
The Ireland squad got their first taste of the new Canterbury training kit with new sponsor Three on board. Check out the gear as Cian Healy, Tommy Bowe and Devin Toner give us their thoughts and register for updates on shop.irishrugby.ie.
Speaking ahead of the Women's World Cup semi-final against England, Ireland head coach Philip Doyle said: "We're really looking forward to it, it's going to be a great occasion. I'm sure it will be like any another massive game in that it's all down to percentages."
Relive all the drama and excitement of the Ireland Women's historic victory over New Zealand with Wyn Gruffydd's memorable commentary, the roar of the Irish fans in Marcoussis and Fiona Coghlan's inspiring post-match interview.