Ulster's Sean Reidy and Ricky Lutton sign contract extensions
Ulster Rugby have announced that flanker Sean Reidy has agreed a two-year contract extension, while tighthead prop Ricky Lutton has signed on for another year.
Reidy joined the province on a short-term contract ahead of the 2014/15 season, after impressing with Counties Manukau Steelers in New Zealand.
Injury curtailed his progress in his debut season as he was restricted to just eight games, but his ability and work rate were enough to earn him an extended stay at Kingspan Stadium.
The 26-year-old has featured much more heavily this season, lining out 15 times for Les Kiss' side. Reidy, Irish-qualified through his grandfather who hailed from County Kerry, has been particularly prominent since the turn of the year and he has scored three tries in his last four appearances.
Lutton, a former Ballyclare High School pupil, returned to Ulster to play for Belfast Harlequins in 2011, following a spell playing in Canterbury, New Zealand. The 29-year-old was awarded 'Club Player of the Year' at the Heineken Ulster Rugby Awards in May 2012 and he earned a development contract for the following season.
He has amassed 44 caps for Ulster to date, including 19 so far this season. Lutton, who turns 30 later this week, has started the last five games for Ulster in the absence of Wiehahn Herbst.
Reidy said: "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Ulster and I have settled really well in Belfast. I believe that my performances have continued to improve over the past 18 months and I look forward to pushing on even more. I have got a good run of games this season and I am hoping to knuckle down and get even more game time. It's an exciting time to be involved with Ulster and things are very promising for the future.”
Lutton also said he was delighted to sign on for another season: "I've really enjoyed being part of this environment over the past few years. We are building something special here and I want to be involved in that and contribute in a positive manner. I feel that I can add value to the squad as we challenge for silverware in the near future.”
Director of rugby, Les Kiss, welcomed the news that the forward duo would stay on with Ulster.
He said: "It's great news for us as Sean and Ricky have played key roles for Ulster in both the PRO12 and in Europe this season.
"Sean has shown his class this season, particularly over the past couple of months when Chris Henry was unavailable. He has backed himself since he arrived at Ulster and he has developed into a really good player for us in the back row. He is a dedicated professional and someone that the other players really want to play for.
"Ricky will provide us with a very viable option at tighthead prop, along with Wiehahn (Herbst) and Rodney Ah You. He has gone from strength to strength for us and he has really stepped up this season and put in some very good performances.”