New Ulster deal for Ludik

Ulster have confirmed that full-back Louis Ludik has signed a contract extension, with the South African feeling "very blessed to stay".

The 29-year-old, who has had previous spells with Super Rugby teams the Lions and the Sharks, as well as a stint with Agen in France, will become Irish-qualified next summer.

Ludik's consistency and versatility have been a major asset to Les Kiss' squad; he has played outside centre, wing and full-back for the side ver the past 18 months. He started 24 games last season, while he has made 11 starts so far this term. He has scored five tries in his Ulster 39 appearances to date.

The news follows the announcements that Charles Piutau, Rodney Ah You and Kieran Treadwell will join Ulster this summer, in addition to the recent re-signing of Franco van der Merwe.

"I feel very blessed to be staying here at Ulster. I've thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far as it's a really nice environment to be in. The people are awesome; they are welcoming and friendly and they have made us feel very much at home," he said.

"There's a great atmosphere in the squad and the professionalism of the whole organisation is fantastic. I've no doubt that the future is bright here at Ulster and it's something I want to be involved in.

"The medical provision and facilities are great, too. Every time I come to Kingspan Stadium I just feel very fortunate to be here and I'm glad I've been given the opportunity to extend my stay."