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More bad luck for Ulster as incoming South African prop set for surgery

Schalk van der Merwe is out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season, but Ulster are confident he will be fit to start their campaign.

Image: Ulster Rugby/Twitter

AFTER CONFIRMING THE news that South African Arno Botha won’t be joining the province due to injury, Ulster have been hit with more bad luck with incoming prop Schalk van der Merwe now requiring shoulder surgery.

The 26-year-old loosehead signed a two-year deal with Ulster in March and is due to move to Belfast following the conclusion of the Super Rugby season, but will do so after a period on the sidelines.

Van der Merwe suffered the injury during the Southern Kings’ defeat to the Emirates Lions two weeks ago and the South African franchise have confirmed he will undergo surgery on Tuesday and will be out for the remainder of the campaign, which runs until August.

Update: 13 June: 0900

Ulster say that the operation is a routine procedure and expect Van der Merwe to be fit enough to feature for Les Kiss from the start of the Guinness Pro12 season.

The injury follows Ulster’s decision to cancel the agreement to sign Botha on a two-yer contract after the prop failed a medical assessment.


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Van der Merwe has also enjoyed spells with the Golden Lions and Free State Cheetahs as well as a season with Top 14 outfit Montpellier.

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Ryan Bailey

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