Terblanche still has the competitive edge

Guinness PRO12 Editor

22 Mar 2012


A South African international, Tri-Nations winner and multiple Currie Cup champion – it would be easy for Stefan Terblanche to see his move to Ulster as a nice boost to the retirement fund.

But with a RaboDirect PRO12 play-off place on the line, the 36-year-old insists the fire burns as bright as ever in his new Belfast home.

Terblanche initially arrived at Ravenhill as injury cover for star summer signing Jared Payne on a three-month deal, but having taken to life in Northern Ireland, he has extended that stay until the end of the season, hopefully culminating in RaboDirect PRO12 play-off in early May.

He said: “I’m here until the end of the season, every game at the moment is a must-win, but if we can get to the play-offs I really want to be a part of it.

“I was only meant to be here for three months, but once I arrived I really wanted to get stuck in and play my part for the club.

“The good thing for me is that I’m not a young 20-year-old trying to find my way into the game so I’m happy to fill in wherever.

“I have no problem playing at full-back, centre or on the wing depending on where I’m needed. It’s good to be in that position and hopefully it’s helping the team out as well.

“We’re one point off the play-off places at the moment so it is very tight, but we’ve been on a good run recently which has given us a shot.

“We need to keep that going, starting with a very difficult trip to Treviso this weekend.”

Tom Court is likely to be the only one of Ulster’s internationals returning this weekend, with the remaining trio of Stephen Ferris, Rory Best and Andrew Trimble taking a deserved rest.

But with their South African backbone Ulster have managed to cope despite their Irish stars, and Terblanche insists they have no intention of letting up at the business end of the RaboDirect PRO12.

He added: “We’ve probably just got Tom coming back this weekend, but he will be a boost to the side, and when the others return that will help as well.
“But we’ve been in pretty good form and have really given ourselves a chance so it’s it up to us to keep up our form.

“We have the South African guys here like Ruan Pienaar, Pedrie Wannenberg and Johann Muller, so I hear a few familiar accents, but I enjoy new experiences.

“So I try not to spend too much time with the other South Africans, I’ve enjoyed getting to know the place a bit.

“I’ve also got a European Cup quarter-final to hopefully look forward to. I’d really like to be involved against Munster, I spent four years at the Ospreys and never made the knock-out stages so it would be great to be involved with that one.”