Ulster secure young out-halves ahead of next season

Les Kiss' side are preparing for life without Ian Humphreys, who retires at the end of the season

Ulster secure young out-halves ahead of next season

Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Ulster have boosted their choices at out-half ahead of next season, announcing the signing of Brett Herron joining the Province from Bath and upgrading Irish U20 international Johnny McPhillips to a development contract.

Les Kiss' side make the moves as replacements for the outgoing Ian Humphreys, who announced he will retire at the end of the season.

With Ian Madigan set to play his rugby abroad in Bordeaux from next season, Paddy Jackson is likely to spend more time with the international side as cover for Jonathan Sexton.

"We are delighted to bring Brett into the Ulster environment," Kiss said of the move, "He has undoubted potential, with an array of skills and real line-breaking ability, which we aim to explore further.

"With the depth of International-class outhalves at Bath, Brett's opportunities have been limited to the 'A' team and Rosslyn Park, where he has excelled. An injury curtailed his almost certain starting berth for England in the U20 World Cup."

McPhillips’ featured for the Irish U20 side for the Six Nations this season and the 19-year-old started all five games at number 10. 

"Johnny McPhillips enjoyed a successful stint with Ireland U20s in this season's Six Nations Championship and that experience will stand him in good stead.

"He is mature well beyond his years and he has the right temperament and ability to succeed at the highest level. He will undoubtedly push through next season and stake a claim for senior squad involvement."

 Bryn Cunninghan, Operations Director, added: "Having Paddy Jackson in situ and knowing Ian Humphreys wouldn't be with us next season, it was imperative to scour the market to unearth some Irish-qualified talent.