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Ludik happy in new home after signing his three-year deal

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster's Louis Ludik is thrilled to pick up his first ever Kingspan Player of the Month award in the week he signed a contract to stay with the province until the summer of 2020.

The South African-born utility back arrived from Agen in 2013 and, until breaking a cheekbone against Connacht in the first week of October, had been in the best form of his Ulster career.

"I'm delighted by everything," said the man who turned 30 this month. "The fans voted for me to be Player of the Month and that makes it even more special.

"I'm always so grateful with the way the supporters have taken to us and it's been a great month. It didn't end well with my cheek unfortunately."

The response from the fans is not limited to this award, with Ludik admitting he has been blown away by how the Ulster public have taken him to their hearts.

"It makes all the difference," he said. "There's been a few times in my career that you're overwhelmed by something and the last couple of weeks, the response after some of the games, the response to the contract, they've been some of those times.

"It's very special when you can see that people are happy with the way you're playing and that you're staying."

The broken bone is likely to see Ludik out of action until the end of November - given that Ulster have a two week break in the middle of the month - and he is already focused on quickly regaining his spot in a crowded back division.

"It's not too bad," he said. "It's recovering now and it's a long season. I'll hopefully be back after the break in November and it'll just be a case then of trying to get back into the team.

"I'll work hard to get back to my best and hopefully I can continue the run. The last two games have been tough for us but we can pick it up again."

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