Ulster players remember Nelson Mandela

Published Friday, 06 December 2013
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Ulster's South African rugby players have remembered former leader Nelson Mandela following the news of his death at the age of 95.

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Mark Anscombe's team are welcoming back Johann Muller, Ruan Pienaar and Jared Payne for Saturday's Heineken Cup game against Treviso at Ravenhill.

Muller and Payne are returning after injury, while Pienaar returns after being rested for last week's Pro12 game against Zebre.

During Friday's training session, Muller and Pienaar reflected on the loss of the iconic anti-apartheid revolutionary and the first black president of South Africa, who died on Thursday.

Captain Johann Muller described him as a "stand-out individual".

"I was fortunate enough to meet him just after we won the World Cup in 2007 and to meet him in his house in Johannesburg," he said.

"The magnitude of that and meeting a world icon like that stands out for me."

The values that he did have and what he stood for and what he did, not only for South Africa, but also the world, is something that I don’t think any person has done for this world in the past.

Johann Muller, Ulster captain

Meanwhile scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar said Madiba, as he is known in South Africa, was a "great man and a great leader".

"I think he's been an inspiration to a lot of people, not only back home, but around the world and I think a lot of people have respect for him," he added.

"I was in a fortunate position to meet him back in 2007 and it was a massive day for me.

"I think South Africa will feel the pain for a while."

The only other change to the team that started last weekend sees Sean Doyle preferred at openside, with Mike McComish moving to the bench.

Payne starts at fullback alongside Andrew Trimble and Craig Gilroy in the back three.

Darren Cave and Luke Marshall continue in midfield with Pienaar partnering Paddy Jackson in the halfbacks.

Saturday's clash against Treviso will be Paddy Jackson's 50th for the Ulstermen.

The front row is unchanged from the Zebre game with Tom Court starting at loosehead, Rob Herring continuing at hooker and John Afoa selected at tighthead.

Captain, Johann Muller, returns in the second row alongside Dan Tuohy, with Sean Doyle, Roger Wilson and Robbie Diack making up the backrow.

Kick off at Ravenhill is at 6pm.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
4 Comments
Jim in Swords wrote (133 days ago):
@carlos. What a nasty bigot thing to say which is not true. Maggie Thatcher was the worst terrorist from these islands and even she signed the Anglo Irish Agreement. She even saw the light.
carlos in belfast wrote (134 days ago):
im taking it for granted that ppl have forgotten all the necklace murders bombing and killings this great mans ANC did and he was the leader or was he like gerry never a member?
Darzo in wrote (134 days ago):
Our maggie ! Called him a terrorist !
Dub in Dublin wrote (135 days ago):
Fair play to the Ulster players they understand this was a special person who knew how to handle change in his society. Pity some people here dont recognise this also most happen in NI. Times have changed in NI just like SA.
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