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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 18:30 GMT
Bristol swoop for double signing
Kevin Maggs
Maggs won 70 caps for Ireland and played in two World Cups
Former Ireland centre Kevin Maggs is to leave Ulster and return to Bristol from next season.

Maggs made his Bristol debut in the 1993-94 season and made over 60 starts and scored eight tries before leaving to join Bath in 1998.

He moved to Ulster in 2004 and has now signed a two-year deal with Bristol.

The Premiership leaders have also signed New Zealand Maori hooker Scott Linklater, who will link up with the club next week.

Maggs made his debut for Ireland against New Zealand in November 1997 and played in the 1999 and 2003 World Cups.

Bristol coach Richard Hill felt that Maggs' Bristol background and his wealth of experience were decisive factors in his decision to move.

"Kevin is a Bristol lad through and through and probably wouldn't have left the club if it hadn't been for relegation and his need to further his international career," he said.

"He possesses so much experience and he will bring defensive qualities to our midfield as well as the ability to get over the gain line."

Linklater, who has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Bristol, moves from Waikato, where he played 56 games and also made 21 Super 14 appearances for the Chiefs.

"We're looking potentially at a very exciting and very busy end to the season with the league and the European Challenge Cup," added Hill.

"Scott will further strengthen the squad for the run in and we will need that strength in depth to give us the best possible chance of a really good end to the season."

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