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Irish-qualified outhalf to join Ulster from Gloucester

Billy Burns will join the province this summer on a two-year contract.

 Billy Burns has joined Ulster.
Billy Burns has joined Ulster.

ULSTER RUGBY HAVE confirmed that Irish-qualified outhalf Billy Burns will join the province this summer on a two-year contract.

Since making his debut as a 17-year-old, the Bath-born star, who has represented England at underage level, has made over 100 senior appearances for Gloucester.

Last season, he made 29 appearances (24 starts) in total for the Premiership side.

Burns, whose older brother Freddie has represented England at senior level, visited Kingspan Stadium on Monday to complete the deal, commenting: “This is a great opportunity for me to take the next step in my career and I’m very grateful to Gloucester for supporting me in this decision.

“The Ulster squad is brimming with established and developing talent, and it will be exciting for me to challenge myself in a different environment.

“I’m really looking forward to linking up with the squad next week and getting stuck into pre-season training. Hopefully I can show the Ulster supporters what I’m all about and contribute to the team in what is a hugely important season.”

Bryn Cunningham, Ulster’s Operations Director, added:

“We’re delighted that Billy has signed with us for the next two seasons. It has not been an easy process to find someone with the requisite abilities to add real value to our squad for this season, but thankfully we’ve come to an agreement with Gloucester and have been able to bring Billy across.

“Johnny McPhillips has developed brilliantly and Michael Lowry has shown that he’s a serious talent, but it was critical that we had another recognised 10 with a good level of experience, otherwise we simply would’ve been short of numbers in that area. The addition of Billy now gives us an exciting array of young talent to call upon in the coming years.

“Billy has an impressive range of skills and has gained a considerable amount of experience for an outhalf of his age. Importantly, being Irish-qualified, we have no doubt that Billy has the potential to represent Ireland in the near future.”

Ulster have been on the lookout for a new outhalf of late, having decided in April to revoke the contract of Paddy Jackson, who has since signed a two-year deal with Perpignan.

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