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Ulster release South African prop from his contract after just three appearances

Schalk van der Merwe’s career at the northern province failed to take off after his arrival from the Southern Kings.

ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED the news that Schalk van der Merwe has been granted an early release from his contract to return home to South Africa, having played just three games for the province.

The loosehead prop — who has not featured for Ulster this season — was under contract at Kingspan Stadium until the end of the current campaign, but has been released six months in advance.

Schalk van der Merwe Van der Merwe made just three appearances for the province. Source: Bob Bradford/INPHO

Van der Merwe signed a two-year deal with Ulster ahead of the 2017/18 season but was forced to undergo shoulder surgery before his arrival, and played just three Pro14 games last term.

He hasn’t been part of Dan McFarland’s plans this season and becomes the fourth player to leave Ulster in recent weeks, following Rodney Ah You’s move to Newcastle and the retirement of Chris Henry and Jean Deysel. 

Van der Merwe’s departure places further strain on Ulster’s loosehead options, after Andy Warwick sustained an MCL injury in the Pro14 win over Cardiff last weekend. 

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Ryan Bailey

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