Rugby

Ulster Pull Off Coup By Signing South African World Cup Winner

Ulster Pull Off Coup By Signing South African World Cup Winner

Vermeulen is among the game’s most influential back rows.

Ulster have pulled off a major coup by signing South Africa number eight Duane Vermeulen until 2023.

Vermeulen is among the game’s most influential back rows. Against Australia last Saturday, he made his comeback from the ankle injury that forced him to miss the recent British and Irish Lions series.

The Wallabies clash was his first appearance since the 2019 World Cup final victory over England, in which he was named Man of the Match, and he will head to Belfast after the Rugby Championship has finished.

Ulster sign 'world class' Vermeulen

"Duane is clearly a world class player who will bring depth and experience to our really talented group of back rowers,” head coach Dan McFarland said.

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"As well as being an undeniable talent on the pitch, I know Duane will play an important role going forward in strengthening the winning mindset we are building as a squad.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise Bryn Cunningham’s brilliant work in orchestrating this deal from start to finish. It was always going to be a difficult ask to find a difference-making 8 but Bryn has definitely achieved that."

Ulster had been seeking to make an addition to the team after a deal to sign Leone Nakarawa fell through in June.

"Ulster and myself had detailed discussions about the club’s values, expectations and the potential role I can play going forward," said Vermeulen.

"It appealed and resonated with me to a point where I got very excited and decided to commit myself to this Ulster journey. I cannot wait to become part of the Ulster family and to serve as best I can."

By Duncan Bech, PA

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ulster sign Duane Vermeulen south africa

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