Jordi Murphy admits moving to Ulster will be a way of helping him become a regular feature in the Irish National set-up.
Murphy, who has been with rival province Leinster for the past seven seasons, already has 18 Irish caps, the most recent of those coming in the win over Fiji in Dublin during last month’s Guinness Test Series.
Ulster and Leinster simultaneously confirmed Murphy would be moving North on a two-year deal at the end of the current season.
The 26-year-old backrow forward admitted it was hard to leave Leinster but felt it was in his own interests from a National point of view.
Murphy said: “It’s been an incredibly hard decision to leave Leinster, where I have made some great friends and enjoyed some fantastic times, but I am excited by the prospect of moving north and linking up with some familiar faces.
“Having considered my options at length, I realise that this represents a great opportunity for me to challenge for a position at Ulster and hopefully become a more regular feature in the national set-up.
“Ulster is building a strong squad for next season and I’m really looking forward to the new challenge.
“However, I am fully focused on contributing as best I can for Leinster for the remainder of the current campaign.”
Ulster director of Rugby, Les Kiss, said: “Jordi has been on our radar for the past 12 months and it took a lot of hard work between his agent and Bryn (Cunningam, Operations Director, Ulster Rugby) to get this completed.
“Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of interest in Jordi and we are really pleased that he has chosen to ply his trade here in Belfast.
“The acquisition of Jordi for next season is great news for everyone connected with Ulster Rugby and I believe this move will greatly benefit both parties.
“He’s an extremely talented player; an explosive runner and a nuisance at the breakdown, while his versatility allows him to play across the back row.
At 26 years of age, we believe Jordi has the potential to play the best rugby of his career at Ulster.”