Leicester Tigers have completed the signing of fly-half Johnny McPhillips from Ulster. The 22-year-old has made 24 appearances for Ulster in the last two seasons after playing a leading role in the Ireland Under-20s squad that reached the World Junior Championship final in 2016.
Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy said: “Johnny was very well regarded as a young player in the Irish system and he has gained some good experience of senior rugby with Ulster.
“He has the ability to play at fly-half, centre and full-back, which adds to our options along the backline. He is a very bright young player, he is keen to make progress in the game. We’ll be delighted to welcome him on board this summer.”
McPhillips, who was born in Newcastle, played his early rugby at Sedbergh School and was capped at Under-18 level by England before moving to Belfast.
He said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining such a prestigious club like Leicester Tigers. To be able to play at Welford Road and challenge myself in a new environment full of established and exciting young players is something I’m really looking forward to.
We have completed the signing of fly-half Johnny McPhillips from Ulster Rugby ahead of the 2019/20 season.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) June 21, 2019
“I can’t wait to get started and look forward to developing my game under Geordan Murphy and the coaching team next season.”
McPhillips becomes the Tigers’ ninth new signing ahead of the 2019/20 season. He joins Jordan Taufua, Tomas Lavanini, Calum Green, Noel Reid, Jaco Taute, Nephi Leitigaga, Charlie Clare and Joe Thomas at Welford Road where Murphy is taking steps to improve on last season’s 11th place Gallagher Premiership finish.
McPhillips signing followed Friday morning’s capture of Thomas, a Grand Slam winner with Wales Under-20s in 2016. He played 18 times for the Ospreys before moving to play club rugby in New Zealand this year.
WATCH: Part one of The Academy, the six-part RugbyPass documentary series on how Leicester Tigers develop their young players
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