International lock Dan Tuohy is expected to be playing in the Bristol colours by the New Year after agreeing a move to the English Premiership club, WRITES RICHARD MULLIGAN.
Ulster are understood to have released the Irish second row from his contract early - there were another 18 months to run on it - so he could return to his hometown club.
The News Letter understands the deal will be completed next week and Ulster assistant coach Allen Clarke said yesterday the club were aware of Tuohy’s situation.
It is also believed Bristol made the approach to the Irish Province.
It may seem as a rash move by Ulster to agree the move given there is not a lot of ‘’tall timber’ in the Province coupled with Tuohy’s wealth of experience.
However, he has suffered more than his fair share of injury woe in the past two seasons resulting in him making around 10 appearances for the Province in that time.
Prior to that and since joining the club in 2009 from Exeter - he was already Irish qualified - he racked up over 120 caps for the Province and was seen as one of the club’s key forwards.
He made his debut for Ireland against New Zealand a year later and has gone to play for the side 11 times and in the 2014 Six Nations his stock rose when a stirring performance against Scotland when replacing Paul O’Connell.
However, he sustained a broken arm in the next game against Wales and the injury jinx has continued to follow him since although he did come on as a replacement in the 2015 Six Nations Championships, again against Scotland and Wales.
In December last year he suffered a fractured ankle and only returned to action in October. He captained the Ulster A team and returned to the senior Ulster squad for the PRO12 losses to Munster and Edinburgh.
His last Ireland game came in the World Cup warm-up encounter with Scotland.