Australian-born Sam Windsor no stranger to Ireland

Brian O'Driscoll and Sam Windsor
Brian O'Driscoll and Sam Windsor

Ulster announced a second new signing for the club on Thursday, confirming Sam Windsor would join the club on a one-year deal after the summer.

The 27-year-old Australian outhalf is Irish qualified through his parents and had spent a spell with Leinster last season on a short-term contract.

Twenty-four hours earlier Ulster had confirmed the coupe of signing All Blacks utility back, Charles Piutau from Auckland Blues - although he will not join the Irish Province until July 2016.

Windsor will arrive at The Kingspan Stadium from Worcester Warriors, where he has spent the second half of this season.

Born in Bungendore, New South Wales, Windsor joined the ACT Brumbies Academy straight from school.

When he narrowly missed out on a Super Rugby contract, he moved to England and spent two seasons at National One side, Blackheath.

At the end of the 2012 season, he returned to Australia to play for his old club Queanbeayan, before returning to Europe to join Leinster on a short-term contract in 2013.

He joined promotion-chasing Worcester Warriors in December on a trial basis from New South Wales Country Eagles, but dislocated his shoulder in his first match for the Championship club.

He will link up with the Ulster Rugby squad in July.

Windsor said: “I am really looking forward to joining Ulster next season.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and I can’t wait to get to Belfast.

“I have only spent a small amount of time in the city, but from what I saw, and from what I have been told, it’s a great place to be.

“Unfortunately injury and surgery has prevented me from playing with Worcester since my arrival in December, but I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me.

“They’re a class club, with top quality coaches and back room staff.

“Dean Ryan is taking them in the right direction and I can’t see anything but success for them from here on.

“I am truly grateful for the care and respect they have shown me.

“Hopefully I can still play a part in helping them to the play-offs and ultimately winning the Championship.

Windsor went on: “Ulster presents a new challenge for me, and one I am really looking forward too.

“The opportunity to play in the Guinness PRO12 and more so the European Champions Cup excites me, and I can’t wait to play in front of a packed Kingspan Stadium and the passionate Ulster supporters.

“I got a taste of Irish rugby last year while I was with Leinster, but will hopefully get a little more than that next season.”

Ulster’s Team manager, Bryn Cunningham, added: “Sam is an intelligent and very professional individual, evident in his play from the outside half position.

“Possessing the full skill requirement, it is his control of the game that we have been most impressed with.

“At 27 he has the experience to make an impact within the squad right from the off and we are fully expecting him to challenge for a starting position within the squad.

“Having a ten who can release the quality outside backs we have at our disposal is absolutely key and Sam is the type of player that reads the game well and has the passing requirements to put people into space.”