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Ulster Rugby Les Kiss exclusive: New boys show we mean business

By Steven Beacom

Ulster's ability to attract high profile and expensive new signings Charles Piutau and Marcell Coetzee for next season is a sign of intent, according to Les Kiss.

The Director of Rugby at Kingspan Stadium is convinced New Zealand back Piutau and South African back row forward Coetzee will prove to be wise investments and inspire the young talent at Ulster to progress.

Praising Ulster Team Manager Bryn Cunningham for playing a key role in bringing such big hitters to Belfast, Kiss said: "Bryn has been ahead of the curve with our signings. There is already bricks and mortar with our new stadium which show ambition but there has to be other statements and these are good statements about what we are prepared to invest in in a smart way.

"These signings aren't just names and superstars in the rugby realm, they are good strong people. They equal solutions we are after. I want to provide a place that has world class players for our supporters and that's why it is so good having guys like Marcel and Charles coming here.

"Also having Marcel will help young players like Lorcan Dow or Stephen Mulholland and others. Piteau will do that too."

It's evident Kiss wants to see young Ulster players come through the ranks and emerge as star performers.

He mentions Jacob Stockdale and John Andrew on this theme and talks about his excitement at what the future holds for established names like Paddy Jackson, Iain Henderson, Stuart Olding, Luke Marshall and Craig Gilroy whose 'talent is flourishing'.

He adds: "The quality of the squad and working with the players was part of the attraction for me to come here. We have to build the process and a tactical environment to our game and a smartness and reslience to our game so that we get out what we all want from the talent that is here."

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