Ulster have announced the signings Niall O’Connor and Rob Herring for the 2012/13 season.

A graduate of the Phoenix Ulster Academy, O’Connor returns to the club having enjoyed a one year spell with Connacht. The 24-year-old established himself as the first choice flyhalf in Galway and produced a number of fine displays throughout the season. 

Irish-qualified hooker Herring arrives from Western Province, where he was involved in their Vodacom Cup squad. The 22-year-old South African enjoyed a brief stint with London Irish before returning to his native South Africa. 

The 16st 3lbs hooker joined the London Irish Academy in 2009 and made his senior debut against Northampton in May 2010. He will provide competition for Rory Best, Nigel Brady and Niall Annett.

O'Connor and Herring will add significant depth to the squad, which will also be bolstered by fellow new recruits Tommy Bowe and Roger Wilson.