Ulster sign South African prop Gareth Milasinovich

He’s Irish qualified through his grandfather, former Ulster player Norman McFarland

 Gareth Milasinovich in action for Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Gareth Milasinovich in action for Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

 

Ulster have confirmed that Gareth Milasinovich will join the province in the summer from Worcester Warriors, where has made 19 appearances to date this season.

The 26-year-old prop was born is Johannesburg, South Africa, but qualifies for Ireland through his grandfather Norman McFarland, a former Ulster player.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland says he’s pleased to bolster his pack with the new signing: “Gareth is a big strong man who will provide us with another good option and enhance competition for places in the frontrow.

“We have been aware of his development since his move to Worcester and we’re looking forward to seeing him contribute to Ulster from next season.”

Ulster have also announced that Alan O’Connor, Ross Kane, Dave Shanahan and Rob Lyttle have signed contract extensions. All four are products of the Ulster academy.

O’Connor, aged 26, made his debut against Leinster in December 2012 and the secondrow has racked up 81 appearances since. He has captained the side on numerous occasions, including Saturday’s win against Zebre.

Shanahan made his senior bow in November 2013 against Edinburgh and has amassed 37 caps. The 25-year-old scrumhalf has scored an impressive six tries to date this season.

Tighthead prop Kane, 24, began his rugby journey at Donaghadee RFC. He made his Ulster debut against Newport Gwent Dragons during the 2016/17 season and he now has 35 appearances to his name.

Dromore man Lyttle, 22, marked a memorable senior debut in September 2016 with two tries against Newport Gwent Dragons. He now totals 18 appearances and has scored eight tries.

Commenting on the contract extensions, McFarland added: “Al, Ross, Dave and Rob are all products of our academy system and it’s great that they have gone on to contribute to the senior squad in the way that they have over the past few years.

“It is very good news for the province that they will continue to play important roles for the team going forward.”

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