Paddy Wallace re-signs for Ulster
Ulster Rugby has confirmed centre Paddy Wallace has signed a new one-year deal with the club.
The contract will see the 33-year-old remain at Ravenhill until the summer of 2014 an makes him the longest serving member of the squad. Making his senior debut in 2001, Wallace has gone on to play 188 times for Ulster, scoring 439 points.
The centre also has 30 Ireland caps and was part of the side that won the Grand Slam in 2009. ??Commenting on his new deal, Wallace said: “I am delighted to have agreed a new deal and I look forward to recovering from injury and playing next season.
“This Ulster squad is the strongest that I have been involved in and I have no doubt that we will be competing for silverware next year. I want to be a part of that and to hopefully to become the first player to make 200 appearances for the Province.”
In addition to Wallace, the club has also said back-row forward Mike McComish has signed a two-year contract extension. He will remain at the club until the summer of 2015.
While former Ulster players James McKinney and David McIlwaine have agreed one-year contracts to return to the Province from next season.
Former Ireland U20 fly-half, McKinney, has spent this season playing for Rotherham Titans in the English Championship. McIlwaine, who is also 23, can play at full-back or on the wing and has spent this season at Bristol having played at Doncaster Knights the year before.
Commenting on the contracts, Ulster Rugby’s Director of Rugby, David Humphreys, said: “Paddy Wallace has unrivalled experience and knowledge of the game. It was important for us to keep him, not just for his playing ability, but also for the significant role that he fulfills in mentoring the young players that we have coming through.
“Mike has shown a remarkable level of consistency this season and James and David will come back to us having benefitted considerably from their time in England.
“It is now more important than ever to have a strong panel of players to be able to compete in both the league and Europe. These four players will add considerably to our strength in depth for next season.”