Coetzee’s Ulster deal confirmed

Springbok and Sharks flanker Marcell Coetzee will join Ulster on a three-year deal from the 2016-17 season.

The Sharks confirmed on Thursday that Coetzee would make the move after Super Rugby, with Ulster having been on the hunt for a replacement for Cardiff-bound Nick Williams.

'Marcell has made a significant contribution in recent seasons but we understand the appeal of the huge salaries on offer in Europe,' Sharks director of rugby Gary Gold said. 'He will be missed, and yet his departure will create new opportunities for the group of outstanding loose forwards emerging in our squad. Marcell is fully committed for Super Rugby, and will captain the Sharks team in the [warm-up] match against Toulouse.'

Although reports last week linked Ryan Kankowski with a move to Belfast, those have since been quashed. Instead, Ulster's contingent of non-Irish qualified players for next season will be made up of Coetzee, Ruan Pienaar, Franco van der Merwe and Charles Piutau.

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis