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Ulster rebuild will start from within, says new head coach Richie Murphy

Richie Murphy says Ulster will rebuild from within and ruled out the possibility of a marquee signing for next season.

The former Ireland Under-20s boss was confirmed as the new permanent head coach of the province on Monday after taking the role on an interim basis in March.

South Africa prop Steven Kitshoff, who cut short a three-year deal to return to the Stormers, was the latest of a number of big international names, including compatriots Duane Vermeulen and Marcell Coetzee, to join the province in recent seasons.

However, with the club under budget constraints, and currently without a stadium sponsor for next year, Murphy is preparing to work with what he has.

"The challenge ahead is how we build this team, which will be quite young, to make sure we become competitive," said the 54-year-old, whose side sit sixth in the BKT URC table ahead of Saturday evening's meeting with Leinster in Belfast (7.35pm).

"We're in a situation where most of the signings have been done and the budget is where it's at.

"There are probably one or two adjustments to that in the next couple of weeks so we're working away on that in the background but a lot of it was done before I came in.

"We're not looking at a marquee signing but exciting young players. We're not like a Man City of the rugby world, we can't go out and take whoever we need, so that means we need to develop from within.

"Our link with the academy needs to be really strong and our feedback with players needs to be positive and direct.

"We need to make sure the young players understand what it means to play for Ulster and at URC level."

After leading Ireland to a U20 World Championship final last year, U20s Grand Slams in 2022 and 2023, as well as finishing the 2024 campaign unbeaten,