Muller’s thrilled to link up with BJ
Ulster have nailed down giant Sharks and Springbok lock Johann Muller, who will arrive at the province at the end of the Super 14 series.
It was well known that Muller was on Ulster's radar for a number of weeks, but after having obtained his release from Currie Cup obligations for the Durban-based Sharks, Muller was free to join up with his good friend and former colleague BJ Botha.
“My family and I are really looking forward to our new life in Ulster, and reuniting with my old friend BJ and his family,” said Muller, who has won 23 caps for South Africa, the last against the Lions during the summer.
“I am very excited by this opportunity to play for a club with such a rich rugby tradition and awesome support.
“My 12 years with the Sharks in Durban have been unforgettable and I know that my years at Ulster have many more wonderful memories in store for me.”
David Humphreys travelled over to Durban before Christmas to meet Muller and he was immediately struck with his determined attitude and his desire to take his career forward.
“Johann is a superb line-out specialist and respected captain. He will add a hard edge to a pack that under Brian McLaughlin and Jeremy Davidson has become increasingly competitive,” said Humphreys.
“We are committed to signing foreign players who, like Johann, have the ability to improve our performances on the pitch and also help develop these young players into Ulster and Ireland stars of the next decade.”
The 29-year-old Muller, a member of the South African World Cup squad, made over 130 appearances for the Sharks and captained the side during the 2008 and 2009 Super 14 competition. He also led the Sharks to Currie Cup victory in 2008.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh captain Mike Blair has ended speculation over his future by signing a new two-year contract.
The 28-year-old scrum-half said: “I'm excited about playing a part in the continuing progress and development of Edinburgh.”