South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

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Windeos
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South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Windeos » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:00 pm

Nothing most people on here have been talking about for a while.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/8464948.stm

South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch
By Jim Stokes


Ulster are expected to confirm next week the signing of South African lock Johann Muller on a two-year deal.

The abrasive Muller made the last of his 23 appearances for South Africa against the Lions during the summer.

Muller will link up with his former Springbok and Sharks colleague BJ Botha who has intimated that he will be staying with Ulster.

Ulster are still believed to be in talks with Cardiff's former New Zealand number eight Xavier Rush.

It is well known that Cardiff's impressive back-row forward was in the province a few weeks ago and that talks involving him moving to Ravenhill were well advanced.

However, it is believed that the Welsh club are keen to hang on to the 32-year-old eight-times capped All Black who has been a key player since his arrival five seasons ago.

With Isaac Boss on the move to Leinster at the end of the season, Ulster are also on the search for top-class international scrum-half replacement.

Ulster had preliminary talks with former Scotland captain Mike Blair who is out of contract with Edinburgh, but it appears negotiations have cooled somewhat.

Sale's Welsh international Dwayne Peel was also on Ulster's radar but he is expected to be heading back to the Scarlets.

South African Ruan Pienaar, a Sharks' utility back who has played both half-back positions and worn the number 15 jersey, has also been contacted but his financial demands could rule him out.

However, the signing of the hard-nosed 29-year-old Muller will add a bit of ballast to the Ulster squad.

His athletic ability in the line-out and his sheer physical presence will be seen as a shrewd piece of head-hunting by Ulster's respected Operations Manager David Humphreys who flew out to Durban recently.

Muller is at present part of the Sharks' Super 14 side, although he has conceded the captaincy of the side to Springbok skipper John Smit.

It appears Ulster have agreed the release of Muller from any Currie Cup obligations and he will arrive after the Super 14 campaign at the end of May.

Ulster are also negotiating with the Scottish Rugby Union regarding Simon Danielli's contract which is due to expire at the end of the season.

The in-form left winger is married to a local girl and is very keen to remain in the province and an international contract from the SRU would help ease the financial burden on Ulster.

Ireland trio Rory Best, Tom Court and Paddy Wallace are in still negotiating IRFU contracts, however, it is expected that they will confirm their continued association with Ulster soon.

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Jackie Brown » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:04 pm

:thumleft: Good news, as long as we sort out the scrum half position!
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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by scrum5 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:06 pm

Good signing and will add a further hard edge to the Ulster pack along with more leadership qualities, but reading the article it seems in spite of all the talk about money from Dublin etc,etc etc we are still going cap in hand to everyone and anyone, wonder who will be first choice scrumhalf next season :scratch:
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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Windeos » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:10 pm

Jackie Brown wrote::thumleft: Good news, as long as we sort out the scrum half position!
yeh totally agree, going by that report Blair talk has cooled and if Peel does head back to Wales then I think it's down do how much can we afford to give Pienaar and if he accepts.

As someone said on another thread, it wouldn't surprise me if we ended up not getting any of our scrum half targets leaving us with no real experience at scrum half with Boss leaving.

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Off the Top » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:26 pm

I suppose we could always get Neil Doak out of retirement :roll:

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by ColinM » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:28 pm

Very interesting devleopment on the Danielli front. Presumably the SRU would have the right to subject him to a number of rest weeks, but apart from that it sounds great :cheers:

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Ardglass2 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:37 pm

Overall looking good but need to sort out O'Donoghue's position and the FB position as well

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by notj » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:59 pm

Super if we keep Danielli, he's obviously happy off the pitch but I think he's produced his career best form on the pitch with us as well. Something about Ulster suits him and I hope his services are retained.

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by bigchiefally » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:15 pm

The NIQ bit seems a slightly dodgy in EU law doesnt it?

I mean if we were to end up letting Danielli go because he isnt Irish and we have 4 others taking up the NIQ spots can he not claim that he was discriminated against for being Scottish?

All the football laws regarding the playing of 3 foreigners have long since been struck down.

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by King Ding » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:21 pm

Briliant signing, didn't realise muller was only 29, stil 4 years plus left in him and he will probably give his best years to ulster, captained the sharks a bit aswell so bring much needed leadership. Add to this the fact he will be released in may and he will have a full break before starting next season. good work all round from UR on this signing :cheers:

Danielli situation sounds very interesting
Windeos wrote:Ulster are also negotiating with the Scottish Rugby Union regarding Simon Danielli's contract which is due to expire at the end of the season.

The in-form left winger is married to a local girl and is very keen to remain in the province and an international contract from the SRU would help ease the financial burden on Ulster.
Does this mean that Sru would pay part of his contract in exchange for some sort of player management situation, if so it sounds good for all concerned, ulster save money for other contracts and scotland get a fresher player attending all their training camps.

No mention of nagusa, seems him and ed are the only major doubts from within the squad. given the SH situation i doubt nagusa will be kept on, which would be a dissapointment imo as i think we will definitely need him next year.

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by RedKC » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:41 pm

bigchiefally wrote:The NIQ bit seems a slightly dodgy in EU law doesnt it?

I mean if we were to end up letting Danielli go because he isnt Irish and we have 4 others taking up the NIQ spots can he not claim that he was discriminated against for being Scottish?

All the football laws regarding the playing of 3 foreigners have long since been struck down.
Is it a law though or is it guidelines for the provinces, can't see it ever being a legal issue

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by mikerob » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:42 pm

bigchiefally wrote:The NIQ bit seems a slightly dodgy in EU law doesnt it?

I mean if we were to end up letting Danielli go because he isnt Irish and we have 4 others taking up the NIQ spots can he not claim that he was discriminated against for being Scottish?

All the football laws regarding the playing of 3 foreigners have long since been struck down.
The ML and HEC still has a rule that no more than 2 non-EU players are allowed in a match day squad.

The IRFU aren't obliged to renew a player's contract, they aren't obliged to give a reason for not renewing and if they did give a reason they would just have to say that their budget has been cut, or he no longer featured in their plans or any other non-committal excuse.

Anyway, good to hear about Muller but echo others concerns that we could be left without any quality SH. Also wonder about EOD... On FBs, I haven't heard how Bryn is... but if he will be fit, they may figure that there is another year in Bryn and that will be enough to see if Smith can make the grade.

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Windeos » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:05 pm

Now that Peel has signed on again at Sale, it's a very real senario that we won't get Pienaar or Blair. Then were left without a top grade scrum half. I'm starting to get worried now

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by Yoda » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:08 pm

Great signing if true - well done Ulster!!
mikerob wrote: The ML and HEC still has a rule that no more than 2 non-EU players are allowed in a match day squad.

That can't be right - in game v Northampton, Munster had Howlett, De Villiers, Mafi and du Preez in their squad - all non EU I think

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Re: South African second-row Johann Muller in Ulster switch

Post by jackthelad » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:10 pm

Isn't there a Kolpak exemption foe certain nationalities under E.C. legislation?


A judgement in the European Court of Justice in May 2004 has meant that if a person is a national of a country which has an Association Agreement with the European Union (countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, some West Indian Islands etc) and that person is in possession of a valid UK work permit, he must be treated for the purposes of employment as if he was a citizen of an EU country.

In the case of cricket, this means that a cricketer from such a country who is in possession of a valid UK work permit is treated as if he were a British or other European citizen and can therefore qualify as a domestic player for Competitive County Cricket.

There is no residential requirement, but the player must not have played cricket at first-class level or above in the 12 months leading up to the season in question, and must give up playing as a domestic player in his home country (although ECB can exercise its discretion to waive either of these criteria).
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