Pete Schultz, the agent of Springbok loose forward Hilton Lobberts, confirmed on Wednesday that he is negotiating with Western Province, which means that Lobberts will be probably be available to play for the Stormers next year.
“The deal has not yet been concluded, but we’ve made a lot of progress,” Schultz told Die Burger.
Lobberts (22), who was born in Paarl, has played two Tests for South Africa. However, his rugby has largely stagnated since he started playing for the Blue Bulls a few seasons ago.
Lobberts turned in sterling performances for South Africa’s Under-19 and Under-21 sides from 2004 to 2006.
However, his discipline sometimes lets him down, and earlier this year he was sent to the sin bin at a critical stage late in the Currie Cup match between the Blue Bulls and WP.
Stephen Nell writes in Die Burger that it is now hoped that the mentoring of Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus will help get Lobberts’s career back on track.
“It is insightful to see what Rassie has done for Ricky Januarie’s and Conrad Jantjes’s careers. Their rugby has improved by 50 percent under him,” said Schultz.
“I think the problem in the Bulls camp is simply that they have already signed so many talented players in all the positions that it’s difficult for a player to get back into the team once he’s left it.”
Lobberts will lend depth to the Stormers at blind side flank and 8th man. There is also some talk that he may play as a lock next season.
Meanwhile it has also been confirmed that Lobberts will be on the sideline for at least six weeks after he broke his jaw on Monday during training.
The Blue Bulls team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that Lobberts broke his jaw in two places and that he had to go for an operation to repair the damage.
Coach Frans Ludeke said that Lobberts injured himself during a contact session on Monday when his head and that of another player collided in a ruck.
“It was a freak accident and I really feel sorry for Hilton because he put in the hard yards to regain his best form but such is life. He needs to work through this setback and come back a stronger person,” said Ludeke.Tweet