Rush to remain with Blues
June 16, 2010
Xavier Rush will remain with Cardiff © Getty Images
Xavier Rush will stay with the Cardiff Blues after turning his back on a switch to their Magners League rivals Ulster.
The former All Black No.8, who led the Barbarians in recent fixtures against England and Ireland, had agreed to head for Ravenhill on a two-year deal at the end of the season but a change in circumstances has resulted in him re-signing with the Blues.
Rush joined the Blues from their Auckland namesakes, where he won a Super 12 title, in 2005 and has since won the Anglo-Welsh Cup and the 2010 European Challenge Cup.
"Ulster are a great team with a bright future," he said. "I was very impressed with the set up when I visited and I wish them the best of luck for the forthcoming season. However, a change in my personal circumstances has resulted in me deciding to recommit with what has become my home from home, with the Cardiff Blues, where I am very happy.
"I would like to thank all parties concerned for their patience and understanding regarding this matter and now just want to concentrate on having a good pre-season ahead of what promises to be another challenging, but hopefully successful campaign."
Ulster have since announced the signing of Bulls stalwart and former Springbok international Pedrie Wannenburg as back-row cover. Wannenburg became the first Bulls player to make 100 Super Rugby appearances for the franchise this season and has 20 caps for South Africa.
"It was not an easy decision after almost a decade with the team and the Bulls family," he said. "I had a fantastic time and great experiences that I will never forget. But it is also a good time to move on. The Heineken Cup will be a new challenge and I am looking forward to that. I have heard many good things about Ulster as well and I am keen to contribute to them, as I still have a lot to offer."
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene