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Franco won't reinvent the wheel

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:04
Franco-van-der-merwe-ulster

Springbok lock Franco van der Merwe will not change the way he plays, despite moving to Irish province Ulster.

The 31-year-old South African, who arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this week, said he is looking forward to the challenge of coming into a new set-up.

"Moving out of South Africa, to somewhere totally new, is the biggest step of my career," he said in an interview on the Ulster website.

"My wife and I are so excited to come to Ulster.

"We have heard so many good things from previous players, like Johann [Muller] and Ruan [Pienaar]. Everyone is just so positive and they speak so well about the Province."

Asked about his own game and what he expects from the change in home base, Van der Merwe said he will bring the same qualities to the Kingspan Stadium.

"In terms of rugby, there is no reason for me to come here and to try and reinvent the wheel," Van der Merwe said.

"I can only do the basics.

"I am here because of what I did in South Africa so I am going to do the same things again."

Van der Merwe spent eight years at the Golden Lions and Lions, winning the Currie Cup in 2011.

He played his 99th and final Super Rugby game for the Lions earlier this month.

"I have a lot of memories from the Lions." he said.

"I enjoyed every single day there. They gave me so much opportunity and they backed me from day one. I met up with a lot of players but over the years I made good friends - I know that they are friends for a lifetime."

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