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Ireland international Dan Tuohy has left Ulster for Bristol

The veteran lock is heading to the Aviva Premiership strugglers, who’ll be coached by Pat Lam next season.

Dan Tuohy in possession for Ireland against Scotland during a 2015 World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium.
Dan Tuohy in possession for Ireland against Scotland during a 2015 World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

BRISTOL HAVE ANNOUNCED the signing of Dan Tuohy from Ulster this morning.

The 31-year-old lock will make the move with immediate effect, having played 136 times for Ulster since joining the province in 2009.

Tuohy, who has been capped 11 times by Ireland, was born in Bristol and previously had spells with Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs.

“We’re pleased to welcome Dan into the fold. He’s a formidable presence in the second row and an experienced lineout operator,” Bristol’s acting head coach Mark Tainton told the club’s official website.

“I know Dan well from his time in the Ireland international set-up. His knowledge of the game at the highest level, as well as his leadership skills, will be of significant benefit to the team.”

Since returning to England’s top flight this season, Bristol have struggled. They’re currently bottom of the Aviva Premiership after losing all 10 of their games so far.

Tuohy said: “When speaking to Mark [Tainton] it was clear to see the vision he had for the club. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to add something to the group.

Being born in Bristol and having played for Weston-Super-Mare, Gloucester and Exeter, I know what Bristol Rugby is all about and what it means to the passionate supporters.

“I want to thank Ulster Rugby and the IRFU for the past seven-and-a-half years and wish them the very best in the future. My attention now turns to helping Bristol retain their place in the Premiership.”

It was announced yesterday that Pat Lam will be leaving Connacht in the summer to take over as Bristol’s head coach next season.

Dan Tuohy Tuohy on the charge for Ulster against Leinster last season. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“When Bristol made the approach, it was only fair that we considered it and the outcome is very suitable for all parties,” Ulster Director of Rugby Less Kiss said of Tuohy, who has recently returned from an injury lay-off.

“We are pretty well stocked in the second row with Franco van der Merwe, Iain Henderson, Alan O’Connor, Pete Browne, Robbie Diack and Kieran Treadwell all providing good options for us. We also have young up and coming locks John Donnan and Alex Thompson in our rugby programme.

“We would like to thank Dan for his contribution to Ulster Rugby and wish him well as he embarks on a new challenge with Bristol.”

Tuohy added: “I wish the players and staff all the best this season and beyond. I’ll always be checking the results and hopefully still come to the odd game.

“To the small group of supporters that I got to know well, thanks for everything. I know you know how much it meant for me to play for Ulster.”

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