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Ulster confirm signing of Kiwi back Matt Faddes from Highlanders

The 27-year-old Otago man can play in several positions across the backline.

ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the signing of Matt Faddes from Super Rugby side the Highlanders next season. 

The versatile 27-year-old Kiwi back has scored 19 tries in 43 Super Rugby appearances so far.

Faddes, who possesses searing speed, has started games on the wing, at fullback and at outside centre for the Highlanders.

Matt Faddes Faddes possesses searing pace. Source: Photosport/Bruce Lim/INPHO

The Otago man is a New Zealand 7s international and has already played at Ulster’s Kingspan Stadium, scoring a try for the Barbarians against Fiji in Belfast in 2016.

Faddes is the latest confirmed signing for Ulster ahead of next season, with Leinster and Ireland loosehead prop Jack McGrath, Brumbies and Australia lock Sam Carter and Worcester tighthead prop Gareth Milasinovich previously announced.

“Matt is a quality player who will bring a lot of experience, skill and creativity to our backline,” said Ulster head coach Dan McFarland of the new signing.

“He’s quick and has shown throughout his career the ability to beat defenders with his footwork and acceleration. His versatility will also be very important for us, meaning he is able to play various positions alongside our talented young backs.

“Matt is excited about moving over to Ireland and with his undoubted ability and strong work ethic, I’m sure he’ll add a significant amount to our squad.

“Jonny [Petrie, CEO], Bryn [Cunningham, operations director] and I feel that this year’s recruitment process has been very productive and it’s encouraging that we are able to continue to attract players of this calibre to Ulster.

Crusaders v Highlanders - Forsyth Barr Stadium Faddes scored 10 tries in the 2016 Super Rugby season. Source: Ross Setford

“The new arrivals will bolster our squad depth for next season and increase competition for places in key areas. This, coupled with the experience gained by so many of our young players this season, bodes well for us moving forward.”

As for Faddes himself, the Kiwi expressed his excitement to be joining Ulster:

“Both Georgie and I are looking forward to the experience of living and working in a new environment and the challenge that will provide,” said Faddes.

“It’s exciting to consider the next chapter of my rugby career. When I visited in 2016, I was struck by the family, community feel to the club.”

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Murray Kinsella

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