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Ulster Announce Squad Signings

Ulster Announce Squad Signings

Ulster Rugby have announed that nine of their players have signed contracts including Ireland ‘A’ international Chris Henry. Young guns Adam Macklin and Nevin Spence, who both featured for the Ireland Under-20s last season, have also signed deals.

Ulster back rower Chris Henry has signed a new three-year deal with his native province. Henry made his senior squad debut last season and has gone from strength to strength, captaining the side on numerous occasions in Rory Best’s absence and being awarded five Ireland ‘A’ caps.

Senior squad members Nigel Brady, who has been capped 65 times to date for Ulster, Willie Faloon and Ian Whitten, have all re-signed on two-year contracts.

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Ulster Rugby Operations Director David Humphreys said: “The management team at Ulster are delighted that we have been able to re-sign key home grown talent to the squad.

“Our focus is to continually build on the foundations set and mould a powerful Ulster side, consisting mainly of ingenious players, with a number of high profile overseas signings.

“It has been great to see young players coming through the ranks and making their mark.

“We are very close to completing the squad for the 2010/11 season. Over the next few weeks we will aim to announce the majority of our contract news.”

Commenting on his re-signing with Ulster, Chris Henry said: “I believe the squad has moved a considerable distance over the past twelve months, and has now become a young vibrant side.

“Ulster has become a challenging team, both in the Magners League and Heineken Cup, and will continue to go from strength to strength. I am really pleased that I will be part of the team for years to come.

“They are a great bunch of guys in the squad, and there is some fantastic talent coming through. So the future with Ulster is looking really exciting.”

A number of Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy players – scrum half Ian Porter, centre/winger Nevin Spence, prop Adam Macklin and prop Paddy McAllister – have all signed one-year contracts with Ulster Rugby, as has Belfast Harlequins captain Neil McComb.

Commenting on the Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy player signings, Academy Manager Gary Longwell remarked: “These contracts are a testament that the Phoenix Ulster Rugby Academy system is working, and working well.

“Credit must be given to the schools coaches who have worked tremendously hard with these players to get them to such a standard, the Academy staff then build on this work, to bridge the gap between the school and professional game.

“David Humphreys and Brian McLaughlin have recognised the home grown talent available, and have given these players a chance to excel.

“The challenge is now for the players to push their way into the Ulster squad and make the positions their own.

“These players are the future of Ulster and hopefully future Irish internationals, having all played at Under-20 level for Ireland.”