Delighted Sean Reidy signs new deal to boost Ulster's hopes
For a player who arrived in Belfast two summers ago keen to see the world, Ulster's Sean Reidy is thrilled to be putting down some roots after inking a new two-year deal to stay on at Kingspan Stadium.
With a grandfather from County Kerry, the Kiwi pitched up in Ireland back in 2014 out to explore his family history and, with Ulster the first team to reply to his request for a trial, hasn't looked back since. Showing his best form this season, and with the province keen to keep him in the set-up, the 26-year-old admits that the decision to stay was one that did not require a great deal of thought.
"Just the girlfriend," he jokes when asked if there was any convincing required. "I really enjoy it here, Belfast is a cool place and I've a lot of good friends here.
"It's good rugby and I just really enjoy my time here. It wasn't a hard decision at all. I played a bit of footy this year and we're developing something pretty special.
"It's really good for myself, and my girlfriend who is here as well, to have that security."
Having bagged five tries already this season, the openside's exploits have been eye-catching, causing established number seven Chris Henry to say that he had to worry about dislodging Reidy from the side before he cast his mind towards an Ireland recall.
"That's nice of him to say but he's a very good player," said Reidy of the fit-again, 24-times capped international. "I've been getting some game time under my belt. Obviously Chris was away at the World Cup and had a bit of a shoulder injury.
"It's good to just string a few together and build the confidence."
Having played the last six games before Sunday's loss to Scarlets, Reidy was rested for the defeat to the Welsh region and says it's always frustrating to take a breather when playing good rugby.
"I hate watching on the sidelines when the boys are going into battle but it's part and parcel," he said. "Six games on the trot then the rest so I'm raring to go this week if selected. The boys didn't really take their chances and Scarlets did.
"The likes of Reagan King and Hadleigh Parkes did some good work on us out wide. We went to the drawing board this week, just to see where we went wrong and where we can rectify it.
"You see where you went wrong, you put your hand up and work from there to fix those errors."
After some frank discussions in the early part of this week, Ulster - who also announced yesterday that prop Ricky Lutton has signed a new one-year deal - are out to get back to winning ways against Cardiff on Sunday with Reidy saying the mood in the camp has been positive despite the unexpected reverse that saw them drop to fourth in the table.
"Scarlets is behind us now," he added. "It's sunny weather, the boys are pretty happy, especially us southern hemisphere boys.
"There's a good buzz and we're looking forward to getting out there. This is my first time playing in Cardiff. I've gone to watch a few international games there and there's always a buzzing atmosphere."
With this weekend's game followed by the hosting of Zebre in the first week of March, Reidy knows the side need as many points as possible to steel them for a testing run-in that sees four of their last five games against sides with play-off aspirations.
He said: "We're looking to push hard these next two weeks and get into a place we're happy with."
New contract in hand, the Aucklander can look a little further too.
Pro12 League: Cardiff Arms Park, Sunday 2.30 pm