With John Afoa moving on to join Gloucester at the end of the season, fellow-Ulster tight-head Adam Macklin's departure for English Championship club Rotherham Titans leaves another vacancy to be filled at Ravenhill.
The 24-year-old former Methodist College captain has played 28 times for Ulster as well as having represented Ireland at Under-19 and U20 levels.
But in addition to having had to play second fiddle to Afoa, Declan Fitzpatrick and BJ Botha at various times, Macklin's six-year stint with Ulster has been seriously disrupted by injury, a fact reflected in his comments regarding his imminent departure.
"I would like to thank the management, coaching staff, medical and strength and conditioning department and also my playing colleagues for their help and support during my six years at Ulster Rugby," Macklin said.
"It was a boyhood dream of mine to play for my native province and it would be wonderful to play again at Ravenhill at some stage in the future.
"I am greatly looking forward to joining Rotherham. I am thankful to Lee Blackett who is giving me the opportunity to play first team rugby at such an ambitious club."
Meanwhile, The Ireland Women's squad for today's Hong Kong Sevens Pool D matches against Singapore and Japan features one Ulster player, Belfast Harlequins' Nicole Caughey.
All games in the tournament are being streamed live at http://en.hirugby.com/