Ulster Rugby captain Johann Muller braced for emotional farewall at Ravenhill
Muller braced for emotional curtain call at Ravenhill
Published 02/05/2014 | 08:33
It's a night designed with the future of Ulster rugby in mind; the official opening of new-look Ravenhill and a time to look forward to a bright future.
But Johann Muller isn't going to be part of that – and tonight he leads Ulster out at Ravenhill for the final time.
The 34-year-old lock came here in 2010 and has captained the team since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Muller is proud to say that Ulster have reached the quarter-final of the Heineken Cup in each of the four seasons that he has been at Ravenhill.
Proud also to have led the Ravenhill men in the final of the Heineken Cup in 2012 and the RaboDirect PRO12 final last season.
You certainly don't have to remind him, however, that Ulster lost both games to inter-provincial rivals Leinster. And now the boys in blue are getting in the way again, and threatening to spoil tonight's big party by winning the crucial Pro12 encounter.
And that's why Muller, who won 24 caps for South Africa and was part of the squad that won the Rugby World Cup in 2007, won't be accepting any curtain calls until the game is over.
"We've got to make sure that we put all of the emotions aside and that we play to our ability," he said.
This match will also mark the last Ravenhill appearance of a certain Brian O'Driscoll, adding spice to the occasion.
Incidentally, Zebre's win over Ospreys last night means Ulster need two more points to be sure of a semi-final place.