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Ulster coach Les Kiss is glad to bolster his ranks with Herron and McPhillips signings

By Jonathan Bradley

Published 07/04/2016

New face: Brett Herron has joined Ulster from Bath
New face: Brett Herron has joined Ulster from Bath

Ulster have boosted their out-half options with the addition of youngster Brett Herron from Bath while Irish Under-20 international Johnny McPhillips has inked a new deal.

Just 20-years-old, Herron has been an English Under-18 international during his time at the Rec, having been spotted at the prestigious Wellington College in Berkshire.

McPhillips, meanwhile, has been bumped up to a development contract after impressing this season in just his first year as part of the Ulster Academy.

With Ian Humphreys retiring at the end of this season and Paddy Jackson sure to miss yet more provincial time due to Ireland commitments, the need for fly-half options is evident with Peter Nelson, Sam Windsor and Stuart Olding all having been tried there this season.

Director of Rugby Les Kiss said: "We are delighted to bring Brett into the Ulster environment. He has undoubted potential with an array of skills and real line-breaking ability.

"Johnny McPhillips enjoyed a successful stint with Ireland U20s in this season's Six Nations and that experience will stand him in good stead.

"He will undoubtedly push through next season and stake a claim for senior involvement."

With Ruan Pienaar and Franco van der Merwe staying at the Kingspan next season, and star imports Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee set to arrive in the summer, operations director Bryn Cunningham admitted that the province have to be thorough in their attempts to build depth while staying within the IRFU's restrictions on foreign signings.

He said: "Having Paddy Jackson in situ and knowing Ian Humphreys won't be with us next season, it was imperative to unearth Irish-qualified talent."

McPhillips may see game time this afternoon when Ulster 'A' take on their Munster counterparts at Naas (3pm).

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