Connacht prop Rodney Ah You to join Ulster
Ulster have confirmed that Connacht prop Rodney Ah You will join the province for the 2016/2017 campaign.
The 27-year old will battle it out with Wiehahn Herbst for the tighthead jersey next season.
A product of the Canterbury system in New Zealand, Ah You is Irish qualified after moving to Galway in 2010 and has won three caps for his adopted country.
His Test debut came on the 2014 tour to Argentina while he appeared off the bench against South Africa in Georgia in that year's Autumn internationals.
Ah You said the potential for silverware was the motivating factor behind his move north.
"I'm really excited about the challenges that lie ahead with Ulster. They are a side with big ambitions and are capable of winning silverware in the very near future," he said.
"I feel that the environment at Ulster will allow me to realise my ambitions in the game. With so many players pushing one another for starting places, it will hopefully spur me on to a new level.
"I feel at 27 that my best years are ahead of me and I want to push hard for more international recognition too.
"With the support of my family, I'm looking forward to making Belfast our new home."
Having made over 100 appearances for Pat Lam's side, Ah You praised the westerners for the role they've played in his career.
Ah You gives Ulster big ball-carrier in a pack that still relies heavily on Williams for ground. At 27 room for growth as scrummager.— Jonathan Bradley (@JBradleyBT) January 18, 2016
"I want to thank Connacht massively for the support they have given to me and my family over the past five years. It's a fantastic club that is currently competing really strongly in the Pro12 and Europe.
"I hope they continue to grow and wish them well for the future."
Ah You is the second signing Ulster have made from the Sportsground in as many seasons after Armagh flanker Willie Faloon returned to his native province last summer.
Ulster's director of rugby Les Kiss welcomed the added front-row depth provided by the signing of Ah You.
"We are delighted that Rodney has decided to commit to Ulster as he will add real strength in depth to our front-row department. As a 27-year-old prop there is still room for him to develop and as a coaching group we will endeavour to get the very best out of him.
"As a squad, when you are competing on a number of fronts it is essential to have depth across all areas to sustain high performance levels throughout the season. It has been pleasing to see that depth develop in recent months, particularly with the development of Kyle McCall at loosehead, and this will further enhance our front-row resources."
Belfast Telegraph Digital