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Ferris: Ulster need more star signings
ESPN Staff
December 16, 2014
Stephen Ferris graduates from The University of Ulster © Twitter

Former Ireland and Lions flanker Stephen Ferris believes his old club Ulster need to make more star signings if they are to compete at the highest level in Europe.

Ulster lost 22-13 to Scarlets in the European Champions Cup on Sunday to end their hopes of advancing to this year's quarter-finals and Ferris, who retired earlier this year, believes they need to invest in more quality.

"If Ulster want to compete with the best, they have to bring in big names year in, year out," said Ferris on BBC Radio Ulster. "When you lose four or five stars and bring in one or two you won't cut it. Ulster Rugby have been going on about this war chest of money they've had over the last five years or so and the way they've been building up the club."

Ferris also believes the Irish provinces possess the funds and resources to compete at the highest level, but are being held back by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU).

"Leinster, Ulster and Munster do have the money but they can't utilise it to get the right players in because of the way the IRFU want it all structured," he said. "They obviously want to get their young players through and get them in a provincial shirt early, instead of potentially bringing in a big player from the southern hemisphere.

"There is talk of Toulon bringing in All Black forward Richie McCaw after the World Cup, while we're bringing in Clive Ross. No disrespect to Clive Ross, but he's been playing for Lansdowne for the last couple of seasons and is trying to make the big step up.

"The national team are doing very well because Ireland players are getting a lot of game time in the big matches and are stepping up to the plate."

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