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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Ulster sign Connacht duo
Ronan McCormack played for Ireland 'A' this season at Ravenhill
Ronan McCormack will fill void left by Justin Fitzpatrick

Ulster have finally signed Connacht duo Rowan Frost and Ronan McCormack.

Both players travelled up to Belfast on Wednesday to sign on the dotted line as coach Alan Solomons seeks to boost his forward power.

McCormack, an Ireland 'A' loose-head, is a 24-year-old Dubliner who moved west in search of better opportunities with Connacht.

However, following Justin Fitzpatrick's impending surprise move to Castres, McCormack is seen as the ideal replacement.

Frost is a team-mate of McCormack's at the Buccaneers club, and comes highly-rated by Connacht coach Steph Nel.

However, the 27-year-old English-born, New Zealand-bred Frost was not Ulster's first choice to fill the void left by the departing Mark Blair.

Solomons had earmarked Frost's second-row colleague Damien Browne, but the Galwegians stalwart was reluctant to leave his home town.

Frost, who was once on Portadown's books, and will become Irish qualified next season.

Kiwi Rowan Frost was born in England
Rowan Frost will become Irish qualified next season

The loss of McCormack and Frost is further blow to Connacht, the weakest of the four Irish provinces.

It is expected that they will also lose some of the more prominent players while South African Nel himself could join the exodus.

Flanker Johnny O'Connor looks set to join Wasps while utility back Gavin Duffy is reputed to be his way to NEC Harlequins.

On top of that, hooker Jerry Flannery and prop Eoin Reddan are targets for Munster, while Colm Rigney is interesting Leeds and John O'Sullivan is weighing up a move to Narbonne.

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