Ulster Rugby have announced the signing of Ireland international tighthead Rodney Ah You from Connacht. The 27 year-old prop has been capped three times for Joe Schmidt’s side, making his debut in the 2014 tour of Argentina.
Although born in New Zealand, Ah You qualifies for Ireland under residency rules.
Ah You spoke to the Ulster website of his excitement at the move.
“I’m really excited about the challenges that lie ahead with Ulster. They are a side with big ambitions and are capable of winning silverware in the very near future.
“I feel that the environment at Ulster will allow me to reach my potential and help me to realise my ambitions in the game. With so many players pushing one another for starting places, it will hopefully spur me on to a new level. I feel, at 27, that my best years are ahead of me and I want to push hard for more international recognition too. With the support of my family, I’m looking forward to making Belfast our new home.
“I want to thank Connacht massively for all the support they have given to me and my family over the past five years. It’s a fantastic club that is currently competing really strongly in the PRO12 and Europe. I hope they continue to grow and wish them well for the future.
Ulster had a tough weekend, losing to Saracens in the European Champions Cup, but director of rugby Les Kiss acknowledged how important a move this is for the side.
“We are delighted that Rodney has decided to commit to Ulster as he will add real strength to our front row department. As a 27-year-old prop, there is still room for him to develop and as a coaching group we will endeavour to get the very best out of Rodney.
“As a squad, when you are competing on a number of fronts, it is essential to have depth across all areas to sustain high performance levels throughout the season. It has been pleasing to see that depth develop in recent months, particularly with the emergence of Kyle McCall at loosehead, and this will further enhance our front row resources.”
This is a very shrewd piece of business from the northern province, but comes as a blow to Connacht.