Western Province and the Stormers look set to get former captain Jean de Villiers back and playing at Newlands from midyear.
He is coming home from Ireland and WP and their Super 14 franchise, the Stormers, are an enthusiastic first in the queue to discuss a contract with him.
In a statement released by the Western Province Rugby Union on Tuesday, Rob Wagner, Managing Director of WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, said: “WP Rugby noted Jean de Villiers’ media statement on the Munster website yesterday, confirming that he will return to South Africa at the end of the European season.
“Jean is a world class player who has excelled on the international stage. He has played all his rugby in the Cape having represented both WP and the Stormers.
“We will be contacting him to learn more of his intentions and explore opportunities.”
Munster confirmed on Monday that De Villiers would return to South Africa in midyear after the end of the current northern hemisphere season.
The decision to return home was determined by the Springbok centre’s desire to make himself available for selection for the 2011 World Cup, a situation Munster were aware of when they initially contracted De Villiers.
Describing De Villiers as “a hugely positive addition to the [Munster] squad this season,” Chief Executive Garrett Fitzgerald said: “While he will be a major loss, we fully respect his ambition and he will leave us at the end of the season with our very best wishes.”
De Villiers’ return will be too late for him to play for the Stormers in their 2010 Super 14 campaign, but coming home in midyear makes him immediately available to reclaim his Springbok inside centre spot, and he would boost WP’s prospects in the Currie Cup.
The 28-year old De Villiers has 53 Super Rugby caps for the Stormers and has played in 55 Tests for the Springboks.
Courtesy of Rugby 365Tweet