Ulster await clearance on potential Muller contract extension


Ulster skipper, Johann Muller looks set to extend his contract with the Irish Province for another year.

However, Ulster are awaiting clearance from the Irish Rugby Football Union to offer the South African a possible new deal.

We wrongly reported earlier that clearance had already been granted, but this is not in fact the case.

Muller’s contract is due to finish at the end of the current season, but if clearance was obtained from the IRFU the Springbok looks set to remain until the end of the 2014 season.

Meanwhile,there is also likely to be a further boost for Ulster, who are currently riding high in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup, unbeaten this season in both.

The 32-year-old was sidelined last month with a hand injury which required surgery and it had been feared he would miss the vital third and fourth rounds of the Heineken Cup, the back-to-back games against Northampton Saints.

The towering second row ruptured ligaments to his left thumb during the Heineken Cup pool clash away to Glasgow and it had been thought he would be out until Christmas.

But the News Letter understands the Springbok is recovering quicker than expected and is now targetting to be ready to play again in the tricky away PRO12 game in Llanelli against The Scarlets in a fortnight’s time.

That would bring the inspirational captain – who has just returned from a few weeks away in South Africa – back into the mix just in time for the away visit to Northampton in Europe.

Muller joined Ulster at the start of the 2010-11 season and has since gone on to make 50 appearances for the club.

He agreed a one-year extension to his two-year contract midway through his second season.

Ulster have to seek permission from the IRFU to pursue a further extension with the new regulations in respect of overseas players and a one-year deal would have possibly be crucial in getting the permission required.