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Ulster joy as they net Bok Pedrie

By Niall Crozier

Ulster have boosted their South African contingent further by signing experienced back row forward Pedrie Wannenburg.

The 29-year-old — who this year created history by becoming the first player to make 100 Super 14 appearances for the Bulls — is the fourth Springbok to enlist at Ravenhill.

He joins Sharks pair Johann Muller — the lock who played with Wannenburg for SWD’s Craven Week side — and half-back Ruan Pienaar.

Springbok tighthead BJ Botha is already an established Ulster player, of course.

The fact that he is equally effective on the flank or at No 8 will be a plus for Ulster who have lost out on former All Black Xavier Rush.

The Cardiff Blues player, who had a change of heart about joining Ulster, left a sizeable gap which the incoming South African will be able to plug.

Wannenburg, who has played for the Bulls 113 times — including 99 consecutive matches — has represented South Africa in 20 Tests.

Having been capped at Schools and Under 21 levels he was voted South Africa’s Young Player of the Year in 2002.

That same year, as a 21-year-old, he made his Test debut for the Boks against France in Marseilles.

His most recent appearance in a Test was almost three years ago when he lined out against New Zealand in Christchurch.

A proven winner, his collection of honours includes three Super 14 titles and five Currie Cup triumphs.

Wannenburg was in the news earlier this year when he admitted to having used cocaine and ecstasy and to over-drinking, but since that potentially career-wrecking January 2010 revelation he has responded with a string of top-rate performances.

Belfast Telegraph


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