Jump to main content


Coetzee Signs Three-Year Extension With Ulster

Coetzee Signs Three-Year Extension With Ulster

Heineken Champions Cup Round 6, Welford Road, Leicester, England 19/1/2019 Leicester Tigers vs Ulster Leicester Tigers' Mike Williams with Marcell Coetzee of Ulster Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Ulster Rugby have been boosted by the news that Marcell Coetzee has put pen to paper on a three-year contract extension, keeping him at Kingspan Stadium until at least the summer of 2022.

The strong-carrying South African back rower has been in superb form this season, starting 17 of Ulster’s 20 games to date and picking up two tries in the process.

His statistical returns highlight his impact on the pitch, topping Ulster’s charts for the highest number of carries, tackles and turnovers won across the Heineken Champions Cup and the GUINNESS PRO14, while he has also been a key leader in a pack re-energised under the province’s head coach Dan McFarland.

Coetzee, who has earned 28 caps for South Africa, is delighted to be committing his future to Ulster, stating:

“First of all, I want to thank the players, staff and supporters of Ulster Rugby for standing by my side over the past three seasons. It was a really tough mental and physical battle for me with the injuries, but I’m grateful for the support I had during that time and I’m determined to repay the faith shown in me.

“I can’t wait to see what the next three years holds for me and my wife personally, and for the province. We have a young, hungry squad that is clearly moving in the right direction under our coaching team. We have a lot of hard work to do, but I know that the entire organisation is focused on delivering success.”

Commenting on the deal, McFarland said: “Marcell has been phenomenal for us this season and it’s a massive boost for us that he has chosen to remain at Ulster, even with significant interest from other clubs. He’s been through some difficult times since he arrived here and I’m delighted that he’s got a good run of games and performed at the level we know he’s capable of.

“At 27 years of age, we believe we are yet to witness some of his best rugby. He provides real presence both on and off the field, and is an example of what determination and persistence can achieve. His influence and knowledge as an experienced international player has been great for our young players and he will continue to play a key role in helping to develop our indigenous forwards.”

Ulster Rugby Chief Executive Jonny Petrie added: “To me, this is a big statement of intent and it’s a great endorsement of the rugby programme that we have in place under Dan. We’re an ambitious province and it’s encouraging that players of the calibre of Marcell want to be part of our future plans, which I believe to be hugely exciting.

“I’d like to thank (operations director) Bryn (Cunningham) for his excellent, ongoing work in terms of our recruitment and retention. With the continued investment in the development of our existing young players, supplemented by overseas players, our squad depth for next season will be stronger. Our long-term succession planning is also starting to take shape and that is critical for the sustainable success of the organisation.”