ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the departure of five more players from their squad ahead of next season, while scrum coach Aaron Dundon is also leaving the northern province. 

In addition to the retiring Rory Best and Darren Cave, Peter Nelson, Ian Nagle, Jack Owens, Caleb Montgomery and David Busby are all heading for the Kingspan Stadium exit.

Nelson made 60 appearances for Ulster. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

It has also been announced that Kiwi Dundon is moving on after two seasons in Belfast, while Dan McFarland will be on the lookout for a new strength and conditioning coach and GPS analyst following the departures of support staff Kevin Geary and Chris Hagan.

Nelson played 60 times for his native province after making his debut against Leinster back in 2011, and the 26-year-old had played across a number of positions at Ulster, including out-half and fullback, during his eight years at the club. 

Nagle, meanwhile, joined Ulster on loan from Leinster back in November and made 11 appearances for McFarland’s side, but has not been retained for the 2019/20 campaign. It had already been announced that the second row won’t be returning to the RDS.

Busby and Owens are both products of the Ulster academy but have just seven senior appearances between them, while back row Montgomery is joining Worcester Warriors.

“A lot has been said about Rory and Darren in recent weeks, and rightly so – they have both been magnificent servants to Ulster Rugby and will leave a lasting legacy,” McFarland said. 

“Pete is a player who can be very proud of what he has contributed during his career at Ulster Rugby, which spans eight years including his time in the academy. His work ethic and resilience, particularly when coming back from some difficult injuries, are a great example to others, and he displayed no shortage of skill as well.

“They haven’t played as much as they would have liked but they have played crucial roles for us within the squad and have driven their own standards, which permeates through the squad.”

On the loss of three personnel from his backroom team, McFarland added: “Aaron is moving on, but the work that he’s done, particularly in developing our young front row players, has been really good.

“We’ve taken considerable steps forward in that area. Kevin and Chris have also played integral roles within the set-up for a number of years and leave us in a better place due to their involvement.