Free State Cheetahs eighthman Darron Nell will follow the growing trend of South African players playing their club rugby in France.
Rugby 365 reports that Nell has accepted an offer to play for French Top 14 outfit Castres, and according to OFM, the hard-running No.8 will be moving to France at the end of July.
The news comes as a big blow to the Cheetahs, after prop CJ van der Linde recently announced his intentions to ply his trade over to France.
Nell has been a stalwart for the Cheetahs franchise over the past six seasons, and also performed solidly in the recent Super 14.
The bulky No.8′s physical style and ball skills will be sorely missed by the Cheetahs in their bid to win the Currie Cup for the fourth year in a row.
The Cheetahs will however have a contingency plan, and will be able to call on the services of Ashley Johnson, Duanne Vermeulen, Kabamba Floors and Schalk van der Merwe at No.8.
It is expected that Nell will still play for the Cheetahs until his move, and the player should be available for selection this week after missing the opening Currie Cup fixture against Griquas because of injury.
Meanwhile, the Bloemfontein team will be hoping that Springbok centre Meyer Bosman and tighthead prop Kobus Calldo pass their fitness tests before Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against the Lions.
Coach Naka Drotské told OFM Sport that he will be considering using Emerging South Africa prop Phillip Lemmer for the Lions clash.
It is unlikely though that Drotské will be including SA Under-20 stars such as Wilton Pietersen or Robert Ebersohn.
Both players were part of the SA Under-20 team, who completed their International Rugby Board (IRB) Junior World Championships on Sunday by clinching third place in the tournament with a convincing 43-18 win over Wales.
Pietersen and Ebersohn were two of the stars of the tournament for South Africa, and showed that they are ready to play Currie Cup rugby.Tweet