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Ulster Snap Up South African Flanker After Three Months At Munster

Ulster Snap Up South African Flanker After Three Months At Munster
By Michael McCarthy
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Ruan Pienaar might have been forced out of Ulster, but the province's South African influence isn't going anywhere. The province have announced today the signing of former Springbok flanker John Deysel on a two year deal.

The 32 year old Deysel who was capped four times by South Africa between 2009 and 2011 and signs from The Sharks, where he has spent the last nine years playing Super Rugby. Irish people will know him most however from the three month spell he has just completed with Munster.

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Deysel was heavily involved in Munster European and domestic run in, and while impressive from the bench, failed to oust Peter O'Mahony, CJ Stander or Tommy O'Donnell from the starting spots in the back-row.

He did feature for nearly the entire second half in Munster's 22-20 win over Ulster in April, a performance which surely caught the eye of his new team.

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Ulster Rugby Operations Manager Brynn Cunningham was delighted with the signing.

I'm very pleased with this outcome as I think Jean will add real value to our squad both on and off the pitch. We had a sizeable list of potential targets, even at this late stage of the season, but we believed Jean would be the best fit because his attributes are exactly what we need moving forward.

He is one of the strongest ball carriers in South African rugby and he really relishes the physical side of the game. He is abrasive and confrontational, with the ball and without the ball, as we have witnessed first-hand for Munster.

Jean has captained the Sharks a number of times and that leadership ability and added experience will be important for us as we look to nurture some talented young forwards in our pathway.

When you add in a fit-again Marcell (Coetzee), Schalk (van der Merwe) arriving to add strength to the front-row competition and guys like Kieran (Treadwell) and Sean (Reidy) continuing to excel, the signs are good for a more robust and dominant forward pack next season.

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