WELL-TRAVELLED flanker Caleb Montgomery reckons his two-year stint in France has toughened him up in preparation for the rigours of the Gallagher Premiership.

The Irishman is swapping his “home province” Ulster for Worcester Warriors this summer after penning a one-year deal.

But Montgomery, who turned 24 last week, is no stranger to embracing new challenges.

In 2014 he flew from his home in Portadown to New Zealand to play for Mahurangi.

The talented forward was then part of Narbonne’s academy between 2015 and 2017 where he was able to pick the brains of head coach and ex-Australia lock Justin Harrison.

Montgomery, who stands at 6ft 3in and weighs 16st 2lb, left the south of France for Ulster before making his senior debut as a replacement in a Pro14 clash with Leinster in January.

He is now set to arrive in England and believes the Premiership will “suit” his physical approach to the game.

“I have been with Ulster for two years now but before that I played rugby in Narbonne’s academy which was excellent,” Montgomery said.

“I got to work under Justin over there which was really cool.

“I was just training with Ulster in the academy at the time when I got the opportunity from Justin to come over and give it a shot out there.

“I thought it would be a good experience at a young age.

“The physicality over in France was a big thing. You had to toughen up quickly.

“In that aspect the French leagues are similar to the Premiership which is very physical.

“I think the Premiership is going to suit me very well. I like to be physical on the pitch and that would be the main thing that I want to bring to the table.”

Montgomery is also a big admirer of Warriors director of rugby Alan Solomons who had three successful seasons as Ulster boss from 2001 until 2004 and is looking forward to meeting up with his new team-mates on July 1.

“It is always sad to be leaving your home province but it is good to be getting the opportunity to come to a club like Worcester,” Montgomery said.

“I have been at Ulster for a few years but I want to come over and get more game-time. Alan is a great coach and it will be great to learn off someone like him.

“He has got a lot of experience and did extremely well when he was over here.

“I have phoned Alan a few times so we have had some good conversations.

“I know (backs coach) Neil Doak from his time here and I think they are two very good coaches.

“I have heard good things about the other coaches as well.

“I am excited to settle down when I get over there and then get stuck into pre-season which will be important.”