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Highlights on Off The Ball


Ulster confirm signing of exciting Munster outhalf Johnston

Ulster have announced the signing of outhalf Bill Johnston from Munster. The 22-year-old had been...

Ulster have announced the signing of outhalf Bill Johnston from Munster.

The 22-year-old had been touted as one of Munster's brightest prospects since playing a part of Ireland's run to the 2016 Under 20 World Cup final, but has been limited to just 12 senior appearances over the last two years.

Hampered by a series of injuries, the Tipperary native had found himself as Munster's fourth choice flyhalf this season, behind Joey Carbery, Tyler Bleyendaal and JJ Hanrahan. And while he is likely to be competing with Billy Burns and Johnny McPhillips in the depth chart, Johnston's chances of first team rugby look far greater with a move up north.

"I’m an ambitious player and this is a great opportunity for me to test myself in an exciting new environment and develop my game under Dan [McFarland] and the other coaches," he said.

"Ulster has a talented young squad that is hungry for success and it’s an organisation that’s clearly moving in the right direction. That’s something I really want to be part of and I can’t wait to make the move to Belfast and get stuck into pre-season training.

"As a Munster man it was a huge honour to represent my province and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here.

"I’m now looking forward to pushing for more game-time, and challenging myself in a new environment."

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland says he's a welcome addition to his squad.

"Bill is a very exciting young prospect who, for a number of reasons, has had limited playing opportunities over the past couple of years. He obviously feels now is the right time for a new challenge in his career and he will bring enthusiasm and unquestionable talent to our squad. We’re confident that he’ll be a really good addition."

Despite seven senior players leaving the province this summer, Munster head coach Johann van Graan looks set to stick give youth a chance next season.

He's suggested that Leinster scrum half Nick McCarthy will be their only permanent signing ahead of the new season.

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