Kings prop heads to Ulster

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 12:20
Large les kiss on schalk van der merwe 800

NEWS: Ulster have lured powerful front row forward Schalk van der Merwe to Belfast.

He will join the Irish province later this year on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old will make the move following the conclusion of the 2017 Super Rugby season, in which he is representing the Southern Kings franchise.

The loosehead prop had a recent stint in France with Jake White's Montpellier and prior to that he played in his homeland, South Africa.

He earned 25 Super Rugby caps for the Lions in 2014 and 2015, as they produced a number of dominant scrum displays against much-vaunted opposition.

"Schalk is a talented player who I've been really impressed by," Director of Rugby Les Kiss said.

"He was the cornerstone of the Lions scrum that dominated for a couple of Super Rugby seasons.

"In addition to his excellent scrummaging, he will give us some much-needed physicality in the loose, and this will be a major plus for us in the seasons ahead.

"He has a hard edge and he's determined to work hard to nail down a starting place here at Ulster.

"His arrival will give us much-improved depth at loosehead, with Kyle McCall, Andy Warwick and Callum Black also on the books.

"As we've seen this season, injuries, particularly in the front row, mean that at times we're required to delve deep into our pool of resources.

"With the impending arrivals of Arno Botha and Schalk, the return to fitness of Marcell Coetzee, and the ongoing development of Academy players like Ross Kane, Aaron Hall, Tommy O'Hagan and Marcus Rea, we will have a much stronger roster of forwards to select from next season."

There are currently no matches being played
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Scarlets v La Rochelle 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 31 March 2018
Blues v Sharks 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Waratahs 08h45 Canberra
Bulls v Stormers 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Munster v Toulon 15h15 Limerick
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 17 14 1 2 70
Munster 18 11 0 7 58
Cheetahs 18 10 0 8 52
Cardiff Blues 18 10 0 8 47
Connacht 18 6 0 12 34
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 17 4 0 13 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 18 12 1 5 61
Edinburgh 18 13 0 5 59
Ulster 17 9 1 7 46
Treviso 18 9 0 9 45
Dragons 18 2 2 14 17
Kings 18 1 0 17 11