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."

Force vs Lions
sast: 13h55 | local: 19h55

  • 12 | 17
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 April 2017
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
Fri, 05 May 2017
Hurricanes v Stormers 07h35 Westpac Stadium
Cheetahs v Highlanders 17h00 Bloemfontein
Sat, 06 May 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Edinburgh 22h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Dragons v Cardiff Blues 22h00 Rodney Parade
Zebre v Treviso 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ulster v Leinster 22h00 Kingspan Stadium
Scarlets v Ospreys 22h00 Parc y Scarlets
Munster v Connacht 22h00 Thomond Park
Bristol v Newcastle Falcons 22h00 Ashton Gate
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Kingsholm
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Wasps v Saracens 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Rebels v Lions 05h00 Melbourne
Chiefs v Reds 07h35 New Plymouth
Waratahs v Blues 09h45 Allianz Park
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 21 18 0 3 84
Munster 20 17 0 3 76
Scarlets 20 15 0 5 67
Ospreys 20 13 0 7 65
Ulster 20 13 1 6 64
Glasgow Warriors 21 11 0 10 58
Cardiff Blues 21 10 1 10 49
Connacht 20 9 7 11 44
Edinburgh 21 5 0 16 27
Dragons 21 4 0 17 22
Treviso 20 4 0 16 19
Zebre 21 3 0 18 19