ULSTER Rugby have moved to sign rising talent, Jake Caulfield on what is understood to be a three year deal.
The 19-year-old has already been involved at Ireland Under-20 level having been invited over for a training camp by the Irish Rugby Football Union.
However, he has already played in an Ulster shirt, having been part of the successful Under-20 side which enjoyed a whitewash in the recent Inter-Provincial Championship and won the title outright for the first time in the Province’s history at this age-group.
It is understood his involvement was seen as a trial, potentially to fill a gap left my Ulster prop, Paddy McAllister, who is out injured for the season.
However, Caulfield, from Weston-Super Mare, who spent two seasons with London Irish before joining the Bristol Academy, has been given a long-term contract at Ravenhill which is significant given the number of up and coming props currently in the system.
Caulfield, who also spent a spell in New Zealand over the summer with the Wellington based Petone, can play both sides of the scrum, he is recognised as a tight head prop.
Although the teenager has played for England at Under-16 and Under-17 level, he qualifies for Ireland due to Irish ancestry.
He first came under the Irish radar with the Under-19s who competed in France before the invitation to train with the Under-20s at national level was extended.
The News Letter revealed the new signing on Twitter on Monday morning with Caulfield later confirming he would be in Belfast, probably by the end of the month.
Caulfield’s agent, Martin Longden from MC Sports Agency, said: “Ulster have been impressed by what they have seen while Jake has been with their Under-20 squad.
“They have shown their belief in his ability by offering him a three-year contract.”
Caulfield is almost certain to be registered for Ulster’s Heineken Cup squad - the Irish launch of the European premier club event will be staged this morning in Dublin.