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Ireland internationals Jack McGrath and Sean Reidy are two of five players departing Kingspan Stadium at the end of the current campaign.
Prop McGrath has endured a miserable time with injury in his three years in Belfast, with the British and Irish Lion currently facing surgery on a hip problem which has dogged him since November 2020.
He had agreed a contract extension in January, but that seems now to have been voided, with McGrath bidding a heartfelt farewell to Ulster.
“A big thanks goes to Ulster Rugby and the coaches during my time in Belfast. My team-mates became close friends and I will always value those friendships,” McGrath said.
“I will miss the incredible support of the Ulster fans, it’s a great feeling running out at Kingspan Stadium as a home player, and it’s a shame I can’t get the opportunity to say farewell.
“As for the future, I’m now a free agent and I have no intention of retiring. I face months of rehabbing in my battle for full fitness, but I am surrounded by a top-class team who will ensure I am in great shape to return to play.
“I am fully committed to becoming the first player in any sport to play at an elite level with two hip resurfacing operations.”
Reidy, an Auckland-born flanker, is returning to New Zealand after winning more than 150 Ulster caps and two Ireland caps.
“It has been a privilege to represent the province and to have the opportunity to play for Ireland,” he said.
“Belfast has felt like home these past years, and we have made lifelong friendships. I leave this place with only good memories.”
Prop Ross Kane and back five forward David O’Connor are both off to Ealing while Mick Kearney, an old head at lock who has played in nine matches this season, is searching for a new club.
The article United Rugby Championship: Ulster release two internationals appeared first on Planetrugby.com.