Ulster Rugby confirmed the signings on Friday of talented young back row players Charlie Butterworth and Sean Reidy ahead of the 2014/15 season.
Butterworth, who can operate as an openside or blindside flanker, joins on a one year contract from Ulster Bank League outfit Landsdowne. The 23 year old Wicklow native was a key player as the Dublin side won the Division 1A title in 2012/13.
Reidy has signed a short term deal with the Province after impressing with Counties Manukau Steelers in New Zealand. The 25 year old can play across the back row and is Irish qualified through his Grandfather who hailed from Castlegregory, County Kerry.
The additions will give Ulster even more depth in an already strong area. The Province currently has three back row players on tour with Ireland in Argentina, while Roger Wilson played for a World XV against South Africa last weekend and they also have Nick Williams on the books. And with young indigenous talent like Conor Joyce emerging too, it will provide the coaches with plenty of options for next season.
Butterworth is delighted to have signed a first professional contract:
“I can’t wait to get started, it will be brilliant to be involved. Ulster are one of the best teams in Europe, if not the world, at the moment and it was a no-brainer once David Humphreys offered me the contract. When I got the chance to go up and have a look at the facilities I was just really blown away. It’s a top class stadium; everything is state-of-the-art and I can’t wait to start training.”
Reidy is also relishing the prospect of joining the Ulster squad for pre-season:
“I had heard a lot about Ulster before I signed; they are a club with a lot of history and tradition but have done really well in their competitions recently and are a team on the up. It’s a great opportunity for me to go over and learn from the coaches and try to develop my game.”