Ulster's new signing will be very familiar to Munster fans 1 year ago

Ulster's new signing will be very familiar to Munster fans

Great signing for Ulster but we're not sure what Stephen Ferris will make of the whole thing.

It has been a while since Ulster possessed an absolute wrecking ball of a forward.

Big Nick Williams had one blinder of a season and Iain Henderson has his moments but it hasn't been since the retirement of Stephen Ferris a few years back.

All that is about to change in 2017/18. Ulster should have Marcell Coetzee back to full fitness and they have just brought in another South African back row that can sure as hell carry a ball:

Ulster, this morning, announced the signing of 32-year-old Springbok Jean Deysel. The former Sharks star finished last season with Munster after he was brought in as a short-term replacement for the injured Jean Kleyn.

There had been talk of Munster making Deysel a Non-Irish Qualified signing for next season but the province thought against it.

Ulster are delighted with the signing and Bryn Cunningham, their operations director, commented:

"Jean will add real value to our squad both on and off the pitch. We had a sizeable list of potential targets, even at this late stage of the season, but we believed Jean would be the best fit because his attributes are exactly what we need moving forward.

"He is one of the strongest ball carriers in South African rugby and he really relishes the physical side of the game. He is abrasive and confrontational, with the ball and without the ball, as we have witnessed first-hand for Munster.

"Jean has captained the Sharks a number of times and that leadership ability and added experience will be important for us as we look to nurture some talented young forwards in our pathway.

"When you add in a fit-again Marcell (Coetzee), Schalk (van der Merwe) arriving to add strength to the front-row competition and guys like Kieran (Treadwell) and Sean (Reidy) continuing to excel, the signs are good for a more robust and dominant forward pack next season."

There was a classy response to the signing by Munster:

While many will welcome the arrival of Deysel, we're not sure what Ferris will make of it. On a recent episode of The Hard Yards rugby podcast, the former Ireland international bemoaned the lack of Ulster men in the Ulster pack. He said:

"You look at the pack and, yes, there are a couple of Irish qualified players in there but none of them were born and bred in Ulster.

"It's a worrying thing for me because you don't want to see any of the provinces turn into a Toulon, where you go out and buy in marquee players every summer and hope that because you've got this unbelievable name, like Marcell Coetzee, that it will turn everything around."

"You've got to build a team," Ferris added, "and Ulster just don't have that at the minute."