Ulster snap up Rush
Ulster have successfully signed back row Xavier Rush on a two-year contract, with the New Zealander set to join the province on July 1.
By James Mason
Last Updated: 08/02/10 2:08pm
Ulster have successfully signed back row Xavier Rush on a two-year contract, with the New Zealand international set to join the province on July 1.
The 32-year-old will end a five-year spell at Cardiff, having joined the club back in 2005 from Auckland Blues.
Rush has made 97 appearances for the Blues and was made captain in only his second season at the club.
Auckland-born Rush has earned eight caps for the All Blacks, making his debut against Australia in 1998.
Ulster director of rugby David Humphreys believes the Kiwi will add more strength to the squad.
He said: "Success in northern hemisphere rugby is built around the pack of forwards. Over the past number of seasons, Xavier has been one of the outstanding back row forwards in European rugby
"His ball carrying ability and leadership qualities will further strengthen Ulster's pack for next season.
"With the demands on players in the build up to the Rugby World Cup and the increasing number of injuries in the professional game, it is vital to have depth in key positions throughout the squad."
Rush is looking forward to joining Ulster and admits it was time for a new challenge.
He said: "I am delighted to have signed with Ulster, and I am looking forward to becoming a part of a team that has some great young players and plenty of ambition.
"The five years that I spent at Cardiff were terrific, but I felt like it was the right time for a change and a new challenge, and moving to a vibrant city like Belfast is going to provide me with that.
"Also, being on the right side of the Ulster fans for once is going to be great and I now look forward to making the move, getting out on the field and becoming an Ulsterman."