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Australian out-half leaves Ulster after early release from contract

Callum Patterson has been called up to replace Sam Windsor in Les Kiss’ squad.

Windsor in action against Edinburgh during a pre-season friendly earlier this year.
Windsor in action against Edinburgh during a pre-season friendly earlier this year.
Image: Presseye/Ian MacNicol/INPHO

ULSTER HAVE ANNOUNCED the departure of Australian Sam Windsor after the out-half was granted an early release from his contract to move to America.

The 29-year-old made just three appearances for the province since his arrival from Worcester Warriors 18 months ago.

He will be replaced in Ulster’s senior squad by Ballymena RFC centre Callum Patterson, who has also featured for the A side in the British and Irish Cup competition.

Windsor, who is Irish-qualified through his parents and spent some time training with Leinster under Matt O’Connor, was regularly used as 24th man by Les Kiss due to his versatility.

“I got engaged about a month ago and my fiancée is over in America so it was a personal decision to join her over there,” he explained.

“The plan is to continue to play rugby – it’s a sport that is growing rapidly in that part of the world and it presents a new challenge to me.

“I’ve loved it here in Belfast; I probably didn’t expect to love it so much. It’s been a great city to live in, the people here are amazing and I’ve forged some life-long friendships with the boys at the club. I’ll be keeping an eye on Ulster’s results and I think they will have nothing but success this season and beyond.”

Windsor featured twice in the Pro12 this season for the northern province as he came off the bench in the 29-8 victory over Dragons in September and then started the 28-17 defeat to Edinburgh last month.

Callum Patterson with Miah Nikora Ballymena's Callum Patterson. Source: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

His place in the squad for the rest of the season will be taken by Patterson, who will join up with his team-mates on a full-time basis from the third week of February.

The 24-year-old played an instrumental role in helping Ballymena Academy to the Ulster Schools Cup title in 2012 with his second-half drop goal clinching a 10-7 victory over Belfast Royal Academy.

“It’s fantastic that I’ve been added to the senior panel as it’s something that I’ve always been trying to achieve,” he said.

“I’m somewhat of a late developer, having come through the club game with Ballymena, so it’s a great opportunity for me.

“Playing for Ulster A over the past couple of seasons has been brilliant for me, it’s given me confidence and experience of playing at a good level. I learnt a lot being part of that environment and hopefully I can continue to improve my game under Les (Kiss) and the other coaches. I’d also like to thank my employers for their flexibility in giving me time off to pursue this opportunity.”

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