Ulster have unveiled the first phase of their Ravenhill redevelopment plan - an ambitious £4.5 million new stand to be built on the terrace side of the ground.

The entire redevelopment project for Ravenhill comprises four phases, the first two of which received approval from the planning authorities prior to Christmas and work is set to begin in November on the first stage.

‘It's imperative that we improve the facilities at Ravenhill,’ said chief executive Michael Reid.

‘In the past six to twelve months the business of rugby has changed rapidly, and an investment in our facilities is absolutely vital if we are to cement our position and compete.

‘First and foremost, we need an investment in players which will bring results on the pitch, increased crowds and the financial windfalls and bonuses that come with participation in the latter stages of competition.

‘Secondly, we have to be able to offer more to our corporate customers and really capitalise on the growth of popularity of rugby.’

The new stand, which has a six month build time, will be operational by September 2009.