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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 16:18 GMT
Boks to get Kempson on loan
Springbok Robbie Kempson a gem of a signing for Ulster
Ulster's Robbie Kempson signs a seven-month deal
Ulster prop Rob Kempson is poised to be loaned to South Africa up to and including the 2003 World Cup.

The 29-year-old forward plans to play during the South African season between 1 May and 30 November.

Agreement, however, has still be to reached between Ulster and the Safru concerning the finer details of the loan contract.

However, the deal is expected to go through without any major hitches.

It means that Kempson will return to finish off his two-year contract with Ulster once the global extravaganza in Australia is completed.

Although he will miss the start of the Celtic League he will be available for the beginning for the new Heineken Cup campaign.

Capped 31 times for the Springboks, Kempson meet with SA Rugby managing director Rian Oberholzer in Cape Town and agreed to an international contract.

He made it clear that he wanted to remain loyal to his commitments with Ulster

Rudolf Straeuli

"It is good to know that my performances were being monitored in South Africa,'' said Kempson.

''Each week I have gone out and given my best for Ulster.

''I had not given the World Cup much thought, given the regulation in place in South Africa regarding foreign-based players representing the Springboks.

''The key was that both Ulster and SA rugby benefit from the arrangement. The contract has been structured in such a way."

Kempson, who played 59 times for the Sharks and Stormers in the Super 12, will play in this season's competition.

The burly front-rower, who can play either side of the scrum, left South Africa following a row with officials back in 2002.

Alan Solomons is now coach at Ulster
Solomons was Kempson's coach at the Stormers

He linked up with his former Stormers coach Alan Solomons at Ulster, and has been a revelation, and made himself into cult figure in the province.

Springbok coach Rudolf Straeuli, delighted to have a player of Kempson's experience back in the fold, said he had been impressed with Kempson's form in the past six months.

Last week Straueli met up Kempson who had returned home for a school reunion at Queenstown College.

Straeuli said he had been encouraged by the player's willingness to be a part of the international set-up again.

"Rob's attitude has been equally impressive. He made it clear that he wanted to remain loyal to his commitments with Ulster,'' said Straeuli.

''However, he also expressed the desire to play in a World Cup for South Africa, especially after missing out on selection in 1999.

''Ulster have been fantastic throughout and their professionalism in dealing with the matter has to be applauded," said Straeuli


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