Belfast Telegraph

Ulster snap up new Kiwi flanker Boys

By Michael Sadlier

Ulster have moved to deal with their current lack of a frontline specialist openside flanker by signing former Highlanders player Tim Boys on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

In light of Chris Henry's continuing absence and Ulster's general injury profile in the back row, the province have been able to sign up the non-Irish qualified Kiwi under a special dispensation granted by the IRFU as they now focus all their efforts on chasing a PRO12 play-off place.

The 30-year-old who hails from Oamaru - the same place as Bronson Ross - played 46 Super Rugby games for the Highlanders between 2006 and 2013 and also recently chalked up his 100th appearance for club side Southland.

An abrasive and hard-tackling flanker, Boys (pictured) has also played for New Zealand at under-19 level. He arrives in Belfast on February 2 when he will hook up with the Ulster squad as they begin their preparations for their home PRO12 clash with Treviso the following week.

Commenting on his move to the Kingspan Stadium, Boys said: "It has always been an ambition of mine to play in the northern hemisphere, so when Ulster Rugby offered me the opportunity I had no hesitation in saying 'yes'.

"They are a top Irish province, with great facilities and a passionate fan base.

"I am looking forward to joining up with the rest of the Ulster players as soon as possible and working hard to help the team get a play-off place in the Guinness PRO12."

Ulster's team manager Bryn Cunningham also welcomed Boys's short-term signing.

"With the injury list Ulster have incurred recently it is great to be able to bring in someone of Tim's pedigree to bolster a crucial area of the pack," he said.

"Coming into the business end of the season, it was vital we secured someone with a high level of experience capable of adapting to a new calling system quickly.

"His proven track record with the Highlanders will hopefully result in him being integral in our bid to make the Guinness PRO12 play-offs."

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