Ulster have today announced the signing of Brumbies and Australia lock Sam Carter, who will join them this summer, boosting their options in the second row.
This will come as a disappointment to Cardiff Blues, with head coach John Mulvihill having identified Carter as a signing target, but has been unable to make a move as uncertainty over budgets for the next few years continues.
With over 100 Brumbies appearances in Super Rugby, and 16 Australian caps to his name since making his debut back in 2014, the 6ft7 and 18+st would have been an ideal addition to the engine room at the Arms Park.
The Brumbies lineout has been one of the top performing set pieces in Super Rugby over the last few seasons, while Carter has been co-captain at the club since 2017.
Unfortunately the Professional Rugby Board have not yet thrashed out the details of how the money available to the four regions will be split, with the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday 5th February.
There is another meeting in early March if nothing is agreed next week, meaning regions may still have five weeks to wait before planning for next season can begin.
As well as missing out on Carter, Cardiff Blues are still unable to re-sign current players who are out of contract, with Gareth Anscombe, Josh Navidi and Willis Halaholo the big names in the squad being impacted by this.