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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 15 December, 2019

Ulster captain Johann Muller will retire at the end of this season

The 34-year-old feels he is playing well, but has decided to listen to his ‘body’s point of view’.

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Darren Kidd

ULSTER’S WORLD CUP winning second row and captain, Johann Muller, will retire at the end of the season, the province confirmed today.

The lock won 24 caps for South Africa between 2006 and 2011 and played a role in the Springboks’ World Cup win in 2007.

Speaking to The early this season, Muller admitted that a serious decision would have to be made on his future following a season disrupted by arm injuries.

In today’s statement, the lock says: “I still believe that I am playing well enough but I just feel from my body’s point of view that the time is right to step away.

“I have enjoyed my time at Ulster so much. The last four years have possibly been the best of my rugby career. My family has been so happy here and we have been made to feel really welcome in Belfast.”

With the prospect of leading his side into a home quarter-final rematch against Saracens in April, Muller was keen to direct the focus back onto the here and now:

“There is still a lot of rugby to be played. Nothing has changed for me. Every time that I take to the field I want to win. I am excited about these last four months, about where we are as a team and what we are capable of achieving.”


LIONEL CIRONNEAU/AP/Press Association Images

Having watched his solid signing help Ulster reach the knock-out stage of the Heineken Cup in each of his four years at Ravenhill, David Humphreys held nothing back in his praise for the Springbok.

“He is everything you want from a captain,” said the director of rugby,” he leads from the front, he is exceptionally committed and he is an inspiration to everyone else around him.

“I remember very clearly sitting with him in Durban, outlining the vision that I had for the team and for Ulster Rugby. He has been the catalyst for the huge strides that we have made in recent years and has made an immense contribution to the Province, both on and off the pitch.

“I know that over the next four months that he will be more determined than ever to help deliver success to Ulster and that he will be aiming to end his career on a high.”

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Sean Farrell

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