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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 15:10 UK

Ulster bring in hooker Kyriacou

Andy Kyriacou
Andy Kyriacou will boost Ulster's front-row options next season

Ulster have signed hooker Andy Kyriacou from English Premiership side Saracens in a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old Irish qualified player, who spent five seasons at Saracens, will move to Ravenhill this summer.

Kyriacou enjoyed an impressive loan spell with Heineken Cup holders Munster during the 2006-07 season.

"Matt Williams has got a good young squad at Ulster that's looking to go places and it will be exciting to be a part of that," said Kyriacou.

He added: "I thoroughly enjoyed the short period I had in the Magners League with Munster.

"It's very competitive with rugby that's fast and tough and there are no weak teams in there.

Kyriacou will compete with Ireland hooker Rory Best for a place in the Ulster XV, as well as the experienced Nigel Brady.

Indeed, he has played against Ulster captain Best at U21 national level.

"Obviously, I'll have to work hard for a starting place in the squad with stiff competition from Rory and Nigel but I'm really looking forward to a fresh challenge and intend to compete for a place."

Kyriacou, who started his career with Sale and Leeds, was part of England's Grand Slam winning squad in the 2004 U21 Six Nations Championship.

He will not be the only arrival at Ravenhill this summer - Ulster signed blind-side flanker Tamaiti Horua from Super 14 side Western Force last month.

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see also
Glasgow 19-20 Ulster
17 Apr 09 |  Glasgow
Saracens 13-16 Leicester
19 Apr 09 |  English
Ulster sign Aussie flanker Horua
30 Mar 09 |  Ulster
BBC Sport NI coverage
05 Aug 11 |  Northern Ireland

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