johann muller ulster Ulster Rugby today announced that second row forward Johann Muller has signed a one year contract extension.

The South African arrived in Belfast last summer from the Natal Sharks on a two year deal and his contract extension means that he will play his rugby for Ulster until June 2013.

Muller captained the Ulster team on numerous occasions this season while Rory Best was absent through injury or international duty. He has clocked up an impressive 2027 minutes of the pitch for Ulster during the 2010/11 season, starting all but four of Ulster’s competitive games this season, and he has become a firm favourite with the fans at Ravenhill.

Winner of the Heineken Ulster Rugby Personality of the Season at last week’s gala awards ceremony, he was lauded for the contribution he has made to the club both on and off the pitch. He has been credited with inspiring much of the change at Ulster this season, with the team reaching the Heineken Cup quarter final stages for the first time since 1999, as well as the Magners League play offs.

On signing the extension Johann said:

‘I’m delighted to extend my contract with Ulster Rugby by another year. I’ve really enjoyed my first season with Ulster, not only in terms of rugby but also personally. The people of Northern Ireland have been great to me and my family so staying an extra year wasn’t a decision we had to think about for long.

‘It was a successful season for us and we are taking steps in the right direction, but the players and the coaching staff need to keep working hard for next season. Teams are judged on silverware and we have nothing to show for our season. We are determined to win something for the trophy cabinet at Ravenhill next season and to do that we must keep improving.

‘I’ve been in the fantastic position of having a leadership role within the squad. I hope I can keep trying to help the younger players and they keep improving. The more games they play and the more experience they get will be of benefit to themselves and Ulster. If, in a couple of years I leave Ulster and have managed to help a few players develop, I will be delighted with that.’