Four of Ulster rising talent pool have agreed senior terms with the Province.
Props Eric O’Sullivan and Tom O’Toole and backs Angus Curtis and Michael Lowry have graduated from the Academy and penned senior contracts.
Five other players from the Academy have also been offered improved deals.
There are new development contracts for Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Angus Kernohan, Zack McCall and Marcus Rea.
It reflects the huge amount of work which has gone on by those in Academy, including manager, Kieran Campbell and also supported the Province’s promise to continue to develop indigenous talent.
All the players on improved deals have featured for the senior squad this year with O’Sullivan, Baloucoune and Lowry taking huge strides in their development being regular starters on the senior side.
The arrival during the summer of new signings Jack McGrath, Bill Johnston, Matt Faddes, Sam Carter and Gareth Milasinovich further strengthens the senior squad.
Under Dan McFarland as head coach in his first season, Ulster surpassed all expectations by reaching the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup.
And they also finished runners-up in their Conference in the Guinness PRO14, before losing a semi-final play-off.