Ulster have been boosted by the news that influential captain Johann Muller has signed a one-year contract extension which will keep him at the club until summer 2014.
Muller, capped 24 times by South Africa, has had a remarkable influence on the squad since his arrival in Belfast three years ago.
In his debut season he helped the province reach the knock out stages of both the Magners League and Heineken Cup.
The 2007 World Cup winner continued his excellent form the following season as he took over the captaincy and guided Ulster on another memorable Heineken Cup run, this time to the final at Twickenham where Leinster secured a third European title.
Progress has continued this season, with Ulster winning 17 of 19 competitive games under Muller’s leadership.
The squad has cemented its place at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 table with an 11-point cushion over second-placed Glasgow, and qualified for the Heineken Cup knock out stages for a third consecutive year.
The 32-year-old, who has amassed 52 appearances for Ulster to date, is looking forward to another season at Ulster.
“The contract extension has been in the pipeline for a while now and I’m delighted to get it signed,” Muller admitted.
“I’ve had a great time at Ulster so far, three years have flown by and I’m really looking forward to a fourth year.
“Ulster Rugby has gone through some wonderful times over the past couple of years and it’s brilliant to be part of that.”