Ulster have agreed to an early release for Marcell Coetzee as the South African back rower is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.
The powerful Springbok was originally due to leave the northern province at the end of the 2021/22 season but will now leave Ulster at the end of the month due to an injury sustained in last month’s match against Leinster.
Coetzee has been one of Ulster’s best players when he has been able to take to the pitch, but has struggled with consistent injuries since he first arrived in Belfast in 2016.
With back-row, Marcell Coetzee, currently side-lined with a hamstring injury, Ulster Rugby has agreed terms which will see him released from the club at the end of this month, ahead of his planned departure at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season ⬇️https://t.co/xeK0rWQOHI
— Ulster Rugby (@UlsterRugby) April 13, 2021
The 29-year-old announced he would be leaving Ulster in December in order to join South African side the Bulls, who will be playing in the Rainbow Cup this season (if it goes ahead) and the Guinness Pro16 next season.
Coetzee explained that he was missing the “South African culture and way of life” and that his decision to return home was spurred on by the lockdowns associated with the ongoing pandemic.
‘We wish him the very best for his return home’
Ulster’s head of rugby operations and recruitment Bryn Cunningham explained that the decision to release Coetzee early was made to allow him to continue his recovery.
“We have come to an agreement that will allow Marcell the time and space required to continue his rehab,” Cunningham said.
— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) December 28, 2020
“I’d like to thank Marcell for his contribution to the province over the past five years and we wish him and wife, Chanelle the very best for their upcoming return home to South Africa.”
Coetzee joined Ulster five years ago from South African Super Rugby side the Sharks and has won 30 caps to date for his country.