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Treadwell is good enough to play for Irish: Less Kiss

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss has said new signing Kieran Treadwell has the potential to become a "viable candidate for the national team."

As reported in last Saturday's Belfast Telegraph, the English under-20 lock, who qualifies for Ireland through his mother, will join the province from Harlequins on a two-year deal this summer.

Commenting on the signing, Kiss said: "Securing someone of Kieran's ability and potential is hugely exciting for Ulster Rugby.

"It is key for us that we are not only successful at provincial level, but that we can produce viable candidates for the national team.

"We believe that Kieran has the goods to deliver this.

"He is a big, uncompromising ball-carrier and he has a natural athletic ability that belies his size.

"Having already gained experience of calling lineouts, he is a natural leader who will develop further and become an integral part of our squad."

Ulster and Leinster had both tried to sign the 6'7'', 20-year-old in the past and explaining his reasons for the switch, Treadwell said: "I'm really excited about the opportunity that lies ahead with Ulster.

"They are an ambitious club with lots of young talent coming through into the first team, a number of whom I played both alongside and against for Ireland U18s and England U20s.

"There is also a very clear pathway for me at Ulster if I work hard and impress the coaching staff.

"I want to thank Harlequins for all the time and effort they have put into developing and supporting me as a young player in the squad.

"As a result, this was a very difficult decision to make but one that I feel is right at this stage of my career.

"I wish Harlequins plenty of success over the coming years," he added.

Treadwell made his senior debut for Harlequins against Cardiff Blues in the LV=Cup back in 2014 and was on the bench for Conor O'Shea's outfit against Montpellier in the Challenge Cup last night.

He was part of the England squad that won the under-20 Six Nations Championship last season and is familiar to Ulster 'A' coach Alex Codling from their time together at Rosslyn Park.

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