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'Exciting prospect': Ulster confirm signing of highly-rated Munster fly-half Bill Johnston

Bill Johnston
Bill Johnston
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Ulster Rugby have confirmed the signing of Munster fly-half Bill Johnston.

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The 22-year-old has endured a lack of playing time due to injury and a logjam at 10 with both Tyler Bleyendaal and JJ Hanrahan backing up Joey Carbery at Thomond Park.

Johnston will now instead move north to challenge Ulster's regular starter Billy Burns, with Michael Lowry an option at both fly-half and full-back. Johnny McPhillips is another back-up out-half on Ulster's books but it is thought that the 22-year-old could move on this summer.

Ulster Head Coach Dan McFarland is optimistic it will prove a fruitful move for both parties.

He said: “Bill is a very exciting young prospect who, for a number of reasons, has had limited playing opportunities over the past couple of years. He obviously feels now is the right time for a new challenge in his career and he will bring enthusiasm and unquestionable talent to our squad. We’re confident that he’ll be a really good addition.”

Ulster surpassed all expectations this season by reaching a European quarter-final and a PRO14 semi-final and Johnston indicated that the impressive progress has attracted him to Kingspan Stadium.

“I’m an ambitious player and this is a great opportunity for me to test myself in an exciting new environment and develop my game under Dan and the other coaches.

“Ulster has a talented young squad that is hungry for success and it’s an organisation that’s clearly moving in the right direction. That’s something I really want to be part of and I can’t wait to make the move to Belfast and get stuck into pre-season training.”

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