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Tuohy a loss but we've plenty of cover in place, maintains Kiss

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster Director of Rugby Les Kiss has assured supporters the province is well stocked with second-rows after it was confirmed yesterday that Dan Tuohy has joined Bristol with immediate effect.

News of the 11-times capped Irish international's move to his hometown club emerged over a week ago after the 31-year-old visited Ashton Gate for talks and a medical last Tuesday.

The finalisation of the switch came only yesterday, however, with Kiss describing it as a decision that suits "all parties".

"We are pretty well stocked in the second row with Franco van der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Alan O'Connor, Pete Browne, Robbie Diack and Kieran Treadwell all providing good options for us," he said. "We also have young up and coming locks John Donnan and Alex Thompson in our rugby programme.

"When Bristol made the approach, it was only fair that we considered it and the outcome is very suitable for all parties.

"We would like to thank Dan for his contribution to Ulster Rugby and wish him well as he embarks on a new challenge."

Tuohy added that he was looking forward to linking up with the side who will be coached by Connacht's Pat Lam next year.

"It's been a privilege for the past seven and a half years," he said. "Like any career, it had its ups and downs, but the support of those close to me kept me right when things weren't going my way.

"I wish the players and staff all the best this season and beyond. I'll always be checking the results and hopefully still come to the odd game.

"I have a huge hole to fill on Friday nights now but I can't wait for the new challenges that Bristol presents. I was born in Bristol and raised just down the road, which adds to my excitement of going there.

"To the small group of supporters that I got to know well, thanks for everything. I know you know how much it meant for me to play for Ulster."

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