Ulster quartet agree new two-year contracts
Four of Ulster's exciting young prospects have signed new two-year contracts which will see them remain at Kingspan Stadium until at least 2017.
John Andrew and Alan O'Connor move up from the Academy to receive development contracts, while Kyle McCall and Peter Nelson extend their development contracts by one year.
All four players will move to full-time professional contracts in 2016-17.
The quartet have all featured for the senior Ulster side in recent seasons.
Andrew, 21, made his first senior appearance for Ulster against Exeter in a pre-season game last August and has made four appearances for the province so far.
Ex Ireland Under-20s prop, McCall, joined the Academy in 2010. The 23 year-old made his debut for Ulster, against Leinster, in 2013 as a replacement in the win at the RDS. He has played three times for the senior side so far.
Peter Nelson, 22, represented Ireland at Under-19 level and made his debut for Ulster on Boxing Day 2011, just a few months after he had completed his A Levels. He can play at full-back or on the wing and has 21 caps for Ulster
Second-row, Alan O'Connor has played 13 times for Ulster and made his debut for the province in a home win over Leinster in December 2012.
The 22 year-old was awarded the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club, Jack Kyle Bursary, for the 2014-15 season..
"All four players have shown significant improvements over the past year that should result in very promising futures in the professional game," said Ulster Team Manager Bryn Cunningham.
"Of the young hookers behind Best and Herring, Andrew, in his brief cameos with the senior team and performances for the Ravens, has shown he has all the credentials to be a top class hooker.
"The next two years should undoubtedly see Kyle McCall break through and challenge for a senior starting position. His work ethic, rugby intelligence and professionalism make him a star of the future for Ulster Rugby.
"Peter Nelson has developed his power and strength while becoming a more confident player at the highest level. With his attacking flair, pace and undoubted talent, he too has a bright future ahead of him with Ulster Rugby.
"Alan, due to injuries in the senior ranks in the early part of the season, was thrust into the first team where he excelled beyond expectation. A hard worker, he is sure to be an important part of the squad moving forward."