Ulster confirm signing of New Zealand 7s international

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Highlanders’ Matt Faddes is tackled by Hurricanes’ Chris Eve. INPHO/Photosport/Marty Melville

Ahead of this weekend’s PRO14 semi-final, Ulster took a big step to strengthening their squad for next season with the announcement today that New Zealand 7s international Matt Faddes will join the province.

The Otago man joins from Super Rugby side Highlanders and was joint-second top try scorer in the premier club competition in the southern hemisphere in 2016.

The Ulster squad for the 2019/2020 season is shaping up nicely with the latest signing joining Jack McGrath, Australia second row Sam Carter and Irish-qualified prop Gareth Milasinovich at the northern province next season.

Faddes has already played in Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium, lining out for the Barbarians when they faced Fiji in Belfast in 2016.

“It’s exciting to consider the next chapter of my rugby career. When I visited in 2016, I was struck by the family, community feel to the club,” the 27-year-old said.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland outlined what he expects from the man who has scored 19 tries in Super Rugby:

Matt is a quality player who will bring a lot of experience, skill and creativity to our backline. He’s quick and has shown throughout his career the ability to beat defenders with his footwork and acceleration.

“His versatility will also be very important for us, meaning he is able to play various positions alongside our talented young backs.

“Matt is excited about moving over to Ireland and with his undoubted ability and strong worth ethic, I’m sure he’ll add a significant amount to our squad.”

On Friday night, Ulster face Glasgow with a place in the PRO14 final against either Leinster or Munster awaits.

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