George Truelove, the former Saracens, West Hartlepool, Bedford and London Broncos player, was to have played for Ballymena at the weekend but instead headed for France and a lucrative contract with Castres. The six foot three inch, 16 stone, centre/wing/fullback was hoping to stay at Eaton Park but a satisfactory job could not be found for the university graduate.
Ballymena do not pay their players so Truelove was hoping that they would be able to find him a job but sadly that has not happened. The 25-year-old - he is qualified to play for Ireland through an Irish grandmother (nee Nugent) - was optimistic that a season with Ballymena could have led to a provincial contract. He has still not given up hope in the latter respect.
His agent, the former Irish Schools international and Northampton centre Richie Hunter, is optimistic that Truelove may be snapped up by Ulster for next season. In the meantime Ireland international and Castres captain Jeremy Davidson can keep an eye on the club's new recruit, keeping both the province and the Irish team management posted of his development.
It is undoubtedly a blow for Ballymena and their coach Andre Bester who described Truelove as a very promising player with great potential. Irish rugby may not have seen the last of him, however, or should not have. It is a pity that if Ballymena were not able to provide a position for Truelove that another club was not afforded the opportunity.