Ulster sign Irish-born loose-head prop Ruaidhri Murphy

Ulster have signed Irish-born loosehead prop Ruaidhri Murphy
Ulster have signed Irish-born loosehead prop Ruaidhri Murphy

Ulster have signed Irish-born Ruaidhri Murphy from Australian side Brumbies on a two-year deal.

The loose-head prop, 26, came through the Leinster academy before spending two seasons with Exeter Chiefs.

Murphy joined Brumbies in 2012, making 20 appearances so far, and will arrive at Ravenhill in August as a replacement for the departing Tom Court.

"I have always had the urge to return to Ireland one day and to play my rugby back home," he said.

The Dubliner was part of the Ireland Under-20 team that won the Grand Slam in 2007.

However he has previously said that he wanted to play for Australia at international level.external-link

Ulster have signed Irish-born loosehead prop Ruaidhri Murphy
Murphy has played for Ireland Under-19s and U20s

He claimed the decision to return home was an easy one after holding talks with Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys.

"It came down to joining Ulster or staying with the Brumbies," he said.

"The Brumbies are a fantastic franchise and Canberra is a brilliant place to live, but I am Irish, I have an Irish family.

"Ulster are a quality team. They are currently one of the leading sides in Europe and their fans are famous around the world.

"It is an exciting time to be joining the province with the new stadium and the new training facilities that have been built at Ravenhill.

"I spoke to David Humphreys about the vision that he has for Ulster - he has huge ambition and big aims for the team.

"That is exciting and I hope that I can play a part in bringing those aims to reality."

Humphreys spoke of his delight at Ulster's latest signing.

"Ruaidhri is a highly talented young Irish prop whose experience of Super Rugby will bring an extra dimension to our front row next season," he said.

"I have no doubt he will be a huge success at Ravenhill in the coming years."

There are expected to be further additions to coach Mark Anscombe's squad with John Afoa and captain Johann Muller also leaving Ulster at the end of the season.