ULSTER have landed a coup in the capture of South African scrumhalf, Ruan Pienaar.
The Irish Province confirmed the Natal Sharks player would be joining them for next season.
Ulster had made no secret of the fact they were seeking a top quality No 9 and Pienaar has always been the favourite to fill the role, particularly with Isaac Boss having signed for Leinster.
It is a huge bonus for Ulster to get the South African in a week when former All Black, Xavier Rush, backed out of his move from Cardiff Blues.
The No 8 has already signed a two-year deal with Ulster, but in a U-turn earlier this week opted not to complete the move – but will have to compensate Ulster as a result.
Springbok coach, Peter de Villers, confirmed Pienaar's move to Northern Ireland and yesterday Ulster announced he would join on a two-year contract.
Ulster Rugby said: "Negoiations for Pienaar's release are still ongoing with his Province."