Leinster Rugby may be losing the services of Isa Nacewa and Johnny Sexton at the end of the season, but they have signed South African international full back to strengthen their back division for next season.
The 28-year-old Kirchner, who won the first of his 24 Springbok caps against the 2009 British & Irish Lions in Johannesburg, will join the three-time Heineken Cup winners from the Bulls.
Kirchner won the Super 14 title with the Bulls in 2009 and 2010 and will arrive with more than 75 Super Rugby caps under his belt and more than a century of provincial appearances.
"Zane is a quality international player and we believe that he will add genuine value to the Leinster squad over the next few years. He's well balanced, fast and skilful and has featured for the Springboks in their last nine internationals," said Leinster coach Joe Schmidt.
"At 28 he is ideally placed to contribute to team performance while also passing on his experience to some of our younger outside backs."
Kirchner can play wing or full back and will be the ideal replacement for Nacewa, who is retiring. Leinster already have a home spun talent to step into the shoes of Racing Metro 92 bound Sexton, in Ian Madigan.
Both Sexton and Madigan will be in contention to fill the No 10 jersey in Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final in Dublin against cup holders Biarritz Olympique. Sexton finally returned to action at the weekend and Schmidt was delighted to see him back.
"We would always back Johnny to make his kicks, but on top of that he got through a power of work, especially considering he hasn't played in so long," said Schmidt.
"It was great to have him back out there. He is a great general out on the field, and he gave us a fair bit of direction. We'll have our medicals and we'll see how guys have come through the game.
"In terms of this week, the six-day turnaround would probably favour fresher players, but at the same time Jonathan is a marquee player for us, and played with great surety."
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.