Cape Town - Ulster have announced that the proposed signing of former All Black flyhalf Stephen Donald will not be completed due to an injury.
SportsJOE reported earlier this month that the World Cup victor would sign for the province on a short term deal until the end of the season with incumbent fly-half Christian Leali'ifano set to return to the Brumbies for the start of the Super Rugby season. Ulster have had bad injury luck this season, with Springbok flanker Marcell Coetzee ruled out for the year following a knee injury.
Donald was injured while playing for Tokyo-based Toshiba Brave Lupus in the final game of the Japanese season.
"Unfortunately, Ulster Rugby is not in a position to proceed with the signing of Stephen Donald, after receiving a medical report on the player yesterday", Ulster said in a statement.
"Stephen had agreed a short-term deal to join the Province, but he sustained an injury while representing his club in the final game of the Japanese season, which will rule him out for 4+ weeks".
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In a statement released on Monday the province confirmed that the signing now will not take place and said that "the timeline now makes it very hard to find a suitable replacement, but we will continue to monitor the market".
The 2011 World Cup victor had been identified as the man to replace Christian Leali'ifano - who played his last game for the province in the loss to Wasps on Sunday - and a short-term deal had been agreed earlier this month for him to see out the season at Kingspan Stadium after he finished with his playing commitments in Japan last week.
Ulster missed out on qualification for the knockout stage of the Champions Cup and will play their next Guinness PRO14 fixture on February 9 against the Southern Kings at the Kingspan Stadium.
Donald got married last week.