Ulster revealed on Thursday that back row forward Pedrie Wannenburg will leave the club at the end of this season..
Wannenburg, who has represented the Springboks on 20 occasions, joined Ulster ahead of the start of the 2010-11 season from the Bulls franchise in Pretoria.
"The opportunity to bring the utility forward to Belfast arose when Ulster's deal with Xavier Rush (who was to leave Cardiff Blues for Ulster) fell through," Ulster said in a statement, adding: "But the impact that Wannenburg has had since arriving in Belfast well and truly illustrates that every cloud has a silver lining. "
In his first season at the club Wannenburg featured in an outstanding 29 out of 30 competitive games amassing more minutes on the pitch than any other player that season in a feat of consistency and durability and in doing so became a real fan favourite.
Wannenburg remained a very important part of the squad in his second season in Belfast, although injuries picked up both away to Edinburgh in January and at home to the same opposition in March have led him to miss a handful of games.
"While we're announcing now that Pedrie will be leaving us come the end of the season, it does seem premature to be wishing him, his wife Evette and baby daughter Isabelle well at this stage - as I know he remains absolutely committed to our cause as we enter the 'business-end' of the season," commented Ulster's Director of Rugby David Humphreys.
Ulster Rugby will finalise their squad make-up for 2012-13 in the coming weeks.
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