Ulster CEO Jonny Petrie has revealed that Marcell Coetzee signing for the Bulls is very much against the province’s wishes.
The South African club strongly hinted that the Springboks flanker would be joining their ranks through a Twitter post on Christmas day, but said they would confirm the signing on the 28th of December.
However, Ulster confirmed that Coetzee would be heading home to South Africa in a statement today, with the flanker explaining his reasons behind the move.
“It all started during lockdown when I was back home for four months. My wife and I did a lot of thinking together about life and we also reflected on where I am in my career.
“We decided to come back to Belfast with an open mind, but ultimately we miss home, the South African culture and way of life – and after five seasons the longing for home has just caught up with us.
“I must say Ulster have been absolutely superb to me, on and off the field during my career, and I feel I have grown as a person and as a player for the experiences the club has given me. Ulster will always have a special place in the hearts of my wife and I,” Coetzee said.
‘Entirely player and Bulls driven’
The Ulster CEO took to his own Twitter page to assure fans that the move is not as a result of financial struggles brought on by the pandemic or by the national governing body suggesting the South African should move on.
Deeply frustrated by this whole situation – come about very much against our wishes & we’ve had no option but to end up where we are. Nothing to do with IRFU or finances – entirely player (& Bulls) driven. Very disappointing, but we move on – doesn’t alter our course one bit. https://t.co/8WTB7iQpFd
— Jonny Petrie (@JP_Petrie) December 26, 2020
“Deeply frustrated by this whole situation – come about very much against our wishes & we’ve had no option but to end up where we are.
“Nothing to do with IRFU or finances – entirely player (& Bulls) driven. Very disappointing, but we move on – doesn’t alter our course one bit,” Petrie said.