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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -1°C
# sucking deysel
'Ruan told me I wouldn't regret it': Ulster's new South African recruit on moving north
Jean Deysel had no hesitation in joining Ulster after consulting with some of his former team-mates.

JEAN DEYSEL SAYS the decision to request an early release from his contract with the Sharks to join Ulster was an easy one after speaking to some of the province’s South African contingent.

Jean Deysel Presseye / Kelvin Boyes/INPHO Deysel being introduced to supporters at last night's Ulster kit launch. Presseye / Kelvin Boyes/INPHO / Kelvin Boyes/INPHO

The Springbok back-row spent the second half of last season on loan at Munster as injury cover and instead of returning home, signed a two-year contract with the northern province ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

The possibility of a switch north first arose three weeks before the Guinness Pro12 final last May and after consulting Marcel Coetzee, Wiehahn Herbst and the recently-departured Ruan Pienaar, Deysel had no hesitation in committing to Ulster.

“Back home they didn’t want to use me at the beginning part of the Super Rugby season so Rassie [Erasmus] phoned me one day and said if I was willing to come here for three months they would appreciate it,” he said, explaining how his move to Ireland first came about.

“I knew Rassie from working with the Springboks and from that came this. I was still on a contract with the Sharks but it was quite an easy thing to do to come to Ulster.

“This all came in the last three weeks of the Pro12 at the end of last season and when it happened I was over in the moon as I’ve always heard good stories about Ulster. I’ve got a lot of friends that have played here and are still playing here so it was an easy decision when it came up, or an easy yes to come here.”

Deysel, capped four times by South Africa, added that a conversation with Pienaar about Ulster and the community atmosphere within the club convinced him it was the right move for him and his young family.

“To be honest with you I spoke with Marcel and Wiehahn first but I couldn’t get a word in as they were just too excited for me to come here. I couldn’t explain to them the whole situation but I spoke a lot with Ruan, he was quite good for me. He spoke about the club a lot and we have similar values, we are both big family people and all that and he told me I wouldn’t regret the decision.

“For me it was always on the cards, every time I spoke with any of the guys they had good things to say good things about the club and it has exceeded all expectations already.  It’s a beautiful stadium. I have seen it on TV but it’s the first time I’ve seen it with the behind the scenes stuff, the staff, the facilities, the gym, it’s all state of the art.”

Jean Deysel and James Davies James Crombie / INPHO Deysel featured in last season's Pro12 final. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

After arriving at Munster for the latter stages of last season, Deysel came off the bench as a second half replacement during the Pro12 final defeat to Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium.

While he said it was an honour to play for the southern province, the 32-year-old is looking forward to the challenge of this season having been involved throughout pre-season.

“For me playing in the Pro12 final with Munster last year was great but I won’t say I felt like an outsider but I was introduced so late in the season,” he continued.

“You always play to win and achieve big things but with Ulster at the moment, because I’m actually here from the start we can actually build something from the ground up and that’s something I’m looking forward to.”

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