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Meyer plans another Bok raid at Loftus

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :Bulls, In the news on 21 Sep 2008 at 09:37
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Leicester Tigers coach Heyneke Meyer is looking to pinch yet another Springbok from his former team, the Blue Bulls.

Rugby 365 reports that the Leicester Mercury has reported that the Tigers are targeting the Blue Bulls’ World Cup winning Springbok lock Danie Rossouw as well as All Black wing Scott Hamilton as potential signings for next season.

Leicester Tigers’ Head of Operations, Simon Cohen, indicated that the club had already approached both players, but that it was way too early to know whether the players would be signing for Tigers or not.

Rossouw and Hamilton were among a host of players currently being scouted by coach Heyneke Meyer for next season.

“We are starting to plan our squad for 2009/10 and part of that process is making contact with a number of players,” Cohen told Leicester Mercury.

“Danie and Scott are among those we have spoken to, but it’s obviously impossible to predict the outcome of what are usually long and sometimes complicated discussions.”

Coach Meyer will of course know all about his countryman Rossouw, having coached the 30-year-old powerhouse to title glory with the Bulls in both the Currie Cup and Super 14.

It is likely that Meyer is considering Rossouw as a replacement for skipper Martin Corry, who will be retiring at the end of this season.

Rossouw made his Springbok debut in the 2003 World Cup and was a member of the side which beat England in the 2007 World Cup Final in France, famously denying Mark Cueto a try.

And while Rossouw might only be a target for next year, it is rumoured that Kiwi Hamilton’s signature is sought rather urgently.

Leicester are faced with an early-season crisis in the wing position. Star Alesana Tuilagi suffered a knee injury last week which has ruled him out of contention for six weeks, which has left Meyer with only one recognised wing in Tom Varndell.

Meyer has been forced to play other players out of position to cover the wide berths – fullbacks Geordan and Johne Murphy have both covered wing – but the fact remains that Tigers are in desperate need of an out-and-out wing.

The 28-year-old Hamilton, who currently plays for Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup, would fit the profile perfectly. He is vastly experienced in Super 14 and New Zealand domestic rugby, and has been capped twice for the All Blacks.

Another wing option for Leicester is rogue Fijian talent Rupeni Caucaunibuca.

The player has been expected to arrive in England some time this week for trials with Tigers to assess his current fitness and ability, but as yet there has been no sign of the unpredictable Fijian, who has a history of failing to appear for club and country.

But Tigers are still hopeful of signing the Pacific Islander, despite his absence thus far this week.

“It’s up to him [Caucaunibuca] to get himself here. We are not putting any deadlines on it,” said Cohen.

“If he gets here, Heyneke will assess him and make a decision as to whether he wants to enter negotiations. Nothing has changed in that regard.”

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