Robbie Diack to return to South Africa at the end of the season after a decade at Ulster
Ulster back row Robbie Diack has announced that he will be leaving the province at the end of the season.
Following the recent announcements of retirement from scrumhalf Paul Marshall and Andrew Trimble, the 32-year-old has become the latest player to state that he is leaving the fold at Kingspan Stadium.
The South-African born player, who earned two Ireland caps in 2014, arrived in Ulster in 2008 and became the first player from outside the province to earn 200 caps for the team last October.
"When I first came to Ulster in 2008 I had signed a three-year contract and I never imagined that 10 years down the line I'd still be here. Of course I'm very sad to be leaving Ulster, but we feel the time has now come for my family and me to return to South Africa to be closer to family and friends," Diack said.
"It has been a huge honour for me to play for Ulster and to have earned over 200 caps is something that my family and I are all very proud of. I've realised what it means to play for Ulster and I've witnessed the pride and passion of our fans on a weekly basis.
"I'll be forever grateful for the opportunities that I've had and the memories that I've made here, and I'm thankful to the people who have supported me along the way.
"While we have quite a few things to keep us occupied in South Africa, I feel that I still have a lot to offer as a professional rugby player. I will be assessing several options on and off the rugby field over the forthcoming months."
Bryn Cunningham, Ulster's Operations Director, paid tribute to Diack's service to the squad: "Since the moment he arrived, Robbie embraced everything that the Province stands for. He quickly established himself as an important member of the Ulster squad, and to have played so many games for the Province is testament to his quality, consistency and versatility.
"Robbie has been an outstanding servant to Ulster Rugby and will be missed by staff, players and fans alike. He has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside and we wish him, Kirsty and Fletcher well on their return to South Africa."