Springbok wing Tonderai Chavhanga won’t be playing for the Stormers in 2010 after he signed a two-year contract with the Lions on Monday.
His manager, Neil Minnaar, confirmed Chavhanga’s move – on the same day the Western Province wing became a father for the first time when his wife gave birth to a baby girl.
Chavhanga’s WP contract expires at the end of October but, according to Minnaar, they have not yet come forward with a new deal.
“Tonderai is going to the Lions. He has signed a two-year contract,” said Minnaar.”I asked Western Province at the end of the Super 14 what Tondie’s situation was as his contract ends on October 31. But nothing has been forthcoming.
“So I put his name out in the market and there was lots of interest all over the world. We only heard from WP recently. We met with Rassie Erasmus on September 8 and he said that there would be something from WP by September 14. But there has still been nothing. So Tondie decided to sign for the Lions.”
Chavhanga has been in good form for WP in the Currie Cup. His career has been plagued by injury and poor management from coaches but his talent is undoubted. He was again sidelined at the Stormers in 2009 as Erasmus opted to turn loose forward Nick Koster into a wing.
With Fijian Sireli Naqelevuki also preferred on the other wing, Chavhanga did not get much game time.
The fact that he will probably be fourth in the wing queue at the Stormers in 2010 behind Naqelevuki, Koster and Springbok star Bryan Habana must have prompted Chavhanga to head to the Lions. Stormers fans will thus miss out on a potentially lethal back three of Habana, Chavhanga and Conrad Jantjes.
Minnaar said the Zimbabwean-born speedster still harboured Springbok ambitions.
“Teams in France and the UK wanted to sign him, but I advised Tondie to rather stay in South Africa,” he said. “He definitely still wants to play Test rugby, so it would be better for him to play in South Africa.
“He is only 26. Maybe he can be part of a big turnaround at the Lions in 2010.”
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