Ulster out-half, Johnny McPhillips has signed a deal with Leicester Tigers and will join the English Premiership ahead of next season.
McPhillips becomes the second Irish player to move to Welford Road this summer alongside Leinster’s, Noel Reid, where they will be coached by former Irish international, Geordan Murphy.
He was born in England and spent five years playing soccer with the Newcastle United Academy before switching his allegiance to rugby where he found himself moving to his dad Tony’s native Belfast and joining the Ulster Academy.
The out-half made 24 appearances for the northern province over the last two seasons after playing a role in the Irish U20 side that reach the 2016 World Rugby U20 Championship final.
However, the arrival of Billy Burns last season coupled with the addition of former Munster man, Bill Johnston, this season means McPhillips must search for pastures new.
“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,” Geordan Murphy said.
“He has the ability to play at out-half, centre and fullback, which adds to our options along the backline. He is a very bright young player, he is keen to make progress in the game and we’ll be delighted to welcome him on board this summer.”
Commenting on his move back over to England, McPhillips 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.
“I can’t wait to get started and look forward to developing my game under Geordan Murphy and the coaching team next season.”