All Black superstar Chris Jack will play for Western Province in this year’s Currie Cup.
Stephen Nell reports for sport24.com
It was reported on Saturday that WP are negotiating with Jack. On Sunday, WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd managing director Rob Wagner confirmed a deal had been negotiated for Jack to be a WP player from 1 July until 31 October.
Jack played for Saracens until recently. He is expected to move back to New Zealand after the Currie Cup and play for the Crusaders in next year’s Super 14.
“It’s very good for us because Chris has a lot of Test and Super 14 experience. He is a very good lock,” said Wagner.
“We hope he can perform a similar role as Federico Mendez (former Argentina front-ranker) and Tony Brown (former All Black flyhalf) by helping younger players. We were also looking at it from that angle.”
Brown was an important mentor for Peter Grant last year and Mendez made the WP scrum a feared one in the Currie Cup a few seasons back.
Province coach Allister Coetzee said recently they would have to increase their depth at lock.
Andries Bekker is expected to be on international duty during the Currie Cup and Adriaan Fondse is still injured.
AJ Venter retired after Saturday’s win in Bloemfontein, which means Hilton Lobberts and Martin Muller remain as locks.
Muller is very young, while Lobberts was only recently converted from a loose forward into a lock.
“It’s wonderful that we are getting Jack,” said Stormers and WP senior professional coach Rassie Erasmus,
“We’re losing AJ and I think he was a much bigger asset than a lot of people realise. We are replacing him with a quality player and then still have Hilton and Martin.
“Jack will not be available for us in next year’s Super 14, but we really want to do well in the Currie Cup.”
Jack played 67 Tests for New Zealand – the last off the bench against France at the World Cup in 2007 – before going to Saracens.
He is 2.02m tall and weighs 115kg. He is good in the lineouts, athletic and a strong scrummager.Tweet