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Humphreys and Caldwell to agree fresh Ulster deals

Ulster are in negotiations regarding contract extensions for two more players.

Neither out-half Ian Humphreys (27) nor lock forward Ryan Caldwell (25) started last weekend at Bath, where both were on the bench.

Caldwell entered the fray in the 66th minute when he replaced Ed O'Donoghue, but Humphreys was not deployed.

Both are key to Ulster’s plans, however, witness the imminence of new contracts being agreed.

Meanwhile with Isaac Boss on his way to Leinster, the search is on for a top notch scrum-half to replace him.

Edinburgh’s Mike Blair and Sale Sharks’ Dwayne Peel have been touted as candidates and certainly each is of the desired standard.

Blair, who has upwards of 60 Scottish caps and will be 29 in April, was a member of last summer’s Lions squad for the tour of South Africa.

Peel, 28, has represented Wales on 72 occasions. He, too, boasts Lions credentials having been on the ill-fated tour of New Zealand in 2005.

Great credentials, but it is highly improbable that Ulster could afford either.

South Africa’s Ruan Pienaar, 25, is another said to be a possible target.

Equally at home at scrumhalf or outhalf, the Natal Sharks' half-back was a member of the Springboks’ World Cup-winning squad in 2007.

Belfast Telegraph


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