Ulster sign Irish-qualified Burns to fill 10 shirt

He signs a two year deal, joining from Gloucester

BY Neil Treacy 20:31 Monday 9 July 2018, 20:31 9 Jul 2018

Ulster hunt for a new out-half is over.

They've confirmed the signing of former England under 20 international Billy Burns from Gloucester, with the 24 year old signing a two year deal at the province.

The younger brother of Bath's England International Freddie, Billy Burns has played more than 100 games for Gloucester since making his debut at the age of 17.

Burns started 24 games for the Premiership side last year, but the arrival of Danny Cipriani was set to limit his opportunities in the 10 shirt.

The Irish qualified Burns will join Johnny McPhillips and Michael Lowry in competition for the 10 shirt, and will link up with the squad next week.

"This is a great opportunity for me to take the next step in my career and I’m very grateful to Gloucester for supporting me in this decision.

"The Ulster squad is brimming with established and developing talent, and it will be exciting for me to challenge myself in a different environment.

"I’m really looking forward to linking up with the squad next week and getting stuck into pre-season training. Hopefully I can show the Ulster supporters what I’m all about and contribute to the team in what is a hugely important season," he says.

The province had a move for Springbok Elton Jantjies blocked, while they were also in contention to sign Joey Carbery before his eventual more to Munster.

Operations Director Bryn Cunningham says he's delighted to finally get their hands on a number 10.

"We’re delighted that Billy has signed with us for the next two seasons. It has not been an easy process to find someone with the requisite abilities to add real value to our squad for this season, but thankfully we’ve come to an agreement with Gloucester and have been able to bring Billy across," he said.

"Johnny McPhillips has developed brilliantly and Michael Lowry has shown that he’s a serious talent, but it was critical that we had another recognised 10 with a good level of experience, otherwise we simply would’ve been short of numbers in that area. The addition of Billy now gives us an exciting array of young talent to call upon in the coming years.

"Billy has an impressive range of skills and has gained a considerable amount of experience for an outhalf of his age. Importantly, being Irish-qualified, we have no doubt that Billy has the potential to represent Ireland in the near future," he added.

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