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Struggling French outfit Racing Métro is chasing the signature of the Bulls’ Springbok lock Juandré Kruger.

rugby365

French media reports suggested Racing coach Gonzalo Quesada is attempting to “reinforce” his resources by luring the 27-year-old Kruger to Paris.

Barend van Graan, CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, confirmed to this website that he is “aware” of interest in Kruger from abroad, but added that nothing is finalised yet.

“It is difficult to comment, since I am not aware that anything has been finalised,” Van Graan told this website in an interview.

“I am aware that he has been talking to other clubs [abroad] in regards to his future and  I am also aware that there are clubs interested in him.

“However, I have not heard of anything that has been finalised,” the Bulls boss added.

Racing, who earlier this year lost the services of World Cup-winning Bok centre Francois Steyn to the Durban-based Sharks, have already secured the services of Bok tighthead Brian Mujati from Northampton Saints for next season.

Mujati, 28, who was sought by Bok coach Heyneke Meyer, but found his return blocked by government, said he is eager for a new challenge and has decided not to take the option of a third year on his Saints contract.

The Zimbabwean-born Mujati has 12 caps for the Springboks after making his debut on June 7, 2008 against Wales in Bloemfontein.

Securing the services of Kruger will be a major coup for the French outfit, who have won just five of their 12 games in this season’s Top 14 competition and are sitting in a lowly ninth position.

The Bulls lock started in eight of South Africa’s 12 Tests this year, after making his debut against England at Kingspark in Durban in June.

He has firmly established himself in the Bok squad, especially in the absence of the Stormers’ injury-prone veteran Andries Bekker.

Should he head to France next year he will join a host of high-profile South Africans in the French Top 14 and European competitions – with Cheetahs second row forward Carl Wegner the most recent to have moved abroad, having signed an 18-month contract with Stade Français.

Other Boks in France include lock Bakkies Botha (Toulon), loose forward Joe van Niekerk (Toulon) and prop Gurthrö Steenkamp (Toulouse).

Kruger, who was named the Bulls’ Super Rugby forward of the Year for 2012,  is widely regarded as one of the best second row forwards in South Africa. He started his career off at Western Province, representing them in the 2007 Vodacom Cup.

From there he moved to Blue Bulls, competing for them in the 2008 Vodacom Cup. He also featured for the Blue Bulls in the 2008 Currie Cup, at times standing in for Bok legends Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha.

Kruger then made the move to Northampton Saints in 2009 and had a successful two-season stint – in which Saints won the European Challenge Cup and then got promoted to the European Cup and won the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

He rejoined the Bulls at the end of 2010.

16 Responses to Racing after Juandré Kruger

  • 2

    Nee, flok man!

    Jinne, wie het nou weer geslaap op die job?

  • 3

    I think we will be seeing more and more Boks going overseas to play. The reason is because Meyer is selecting far too many that are playing over there. It has sent the wrong message to be honest. As most of the Boks will think if others can get selected playing in the nh so can they. We should have a limit to how many players can get selected that are not playing in SA. There should be no more than 2 that can get selected from overseas and if we do need the services of more it has to be that we really do NOT have any players here to fill that role. Meyer had 5 players selected for Boks that were playing in NH. That for me is just far too much.

  • 4

    Boks to play in Nelspruit next year.

    This from Sports24

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The fixtures are:

    2013 Incoming Tour:

    • Saturday, June 8 (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit): Scotland v Samoa; Springboks v Italy
    • Saturday, June 15 (Kings Park): Samoa v Italy; Springboks v Scotland
    • Saturday, June 22 (Loftus Versfeld): Team 3 v Team 4 ; Team 1 v Team 2

    2013 Rugby Championship:

    • Saturday, August 17 (Free State Stadium): Springboks v Argentina
    • Saturday, September 28 (Newlands): Springboks v Australia
    • Saturday, October 5 (Coca-Cola Park): Springboks v New Zealand

    2014 Fixtures (dates to be confirmed):

    • Incoming Tour: Springboks v Wales (Johannesburg)
    • Incoming Tour: Springboks v Wales (Nelspruit)
    • Incoming Tour: Springboks v Scotland (Port Elizabeth)
    • Rugby Championship: Springboks v Argentina (Pretoria)
    • Rugby Championship: Springboks v Australia (Cape Town)
    • Rugby Championship: Springboks v New Zealand (Johannesburg)

    2015 Fixtures (no Incoming Tour due to Rugby World Cup):

    • Rugby Championship: Springboks v Argentina (Cape Town)
    • Rugby Championship: Springboks v Australia (Durban)
    • Rugby Championship: Springboks v New Zealand (Johannesburg)

  • 5

    Sharks supporters demanding that PSDT and Bressler be made Boks in 5…4…3…2…

  • 7

    @ Loosehead:
    Bressler is way too snaaks looking to play for South Africa. We have our standards after all…….

  • 8

    I’m from the “local first” school of thought. Only if there isn’t a local alternative (a-la Francois Louw) then we must select overseas based players.

    In Juandre’s case he may lose out to guys like Franco van der Merwe as a result.

  • 9

    8 @ Stormersboy:
    Not so sure with Meyer. He has selected more overseas based players than any other coach. Kruger may feel he it is fine playing his rugby in nh as if others get selected from there he will too. Think Meyer has sent the wrong message to players playing their rugby here. He told Fransie he had to come home to be selected. Fransie did just that then he selects so many for nh.

    I am all for selecting players playing in South Africa first, only look abroad if we just don’t have the quality here of the player playing overseas. Also there should be a limit to how many get selected from overseas. That will keep the players playing here. Otherwise we will be not be seeing world class players playing here in Super Rugby. We will lose more and more to overseas.

    For now it should be only Flo and Ruan that get selected. Then we will probably have better scrummies next year with Reinach and Groom coming through.

  • 10

    @ Puma:
    I agree with you 100%. We need to protect the standard of our local talent and this is one way to do just that.

    I would take a very hard line on this personally.

  • 11

    I don’t think Heyneke Meyer will play too many overseas-based players for Tests IN SOUTH AFRICA…. it was more for the sake of the Northern Hemisphere Tour this time round that he wanted to see what he could add to the Springbok squad by playing a few overseas players.

    In June we basically had Ruan Pienaar from overseas in the squad, or am I missing somebody?
    Then initially with reluctance Francois Louw was drafted in – huge success and a big PLUS for Meyer
    At the End Of Year Tours we got Gurthro, Heinke, Schalk Brits…. and face it, we needed tighthead props, cover for Beast at loosehead prop and with hookers injured we also needed another hooker.

    Mountains out of mole hills springs to mind….

  • 12

    @ grootblousmile:
    Might be, I think Frans Steyn was an overseas player still, or had he come back by then? I forget. He hadn’t played any games for the Sharks yet.

    I am of the opinion that the end of year tour should be a development tour, giving players some time off, and then if he wants to bring a certain amount of overseas experienced players into the mix then great. It may also help to get them thinking of coming back home.

    The rest of the time though I’d be quite strict on the overseas thing, as you say HM has shown that.

  • 13

    11 @ grootblousmile:

    Look while we were in the UK it was feasable to select the overseas based players. I would have had JC Van Rensburg selected in the squad for the word go, so no need for Guthro or Heinke to be honest. Well to cover on the bench. So yes, then either one. JC has been world class and should have got selected for this tour. He gets ignored for a overseas player? I know Beast had a heart problem at the last minute and had to come home, but we should have taken JC with to cover him in the first place and not have to rely on the overseas based players. Have no idea why Brits was there either? He actually looked light weight when he came on late in the last test against England. What has happened to Chili? I know he was on tour. When he played for Bulls at the start of this SR season he was playing some damn fine rugby. Why was Burden on tour in the RC when he was not ACTUALLY needed? Not then and not for the eoyt? Instead a overseas base Bok in Brits gets selected ahead of the touring Chili and Burden that had toured with the Boks before. Brits for me just never looked up to it when he came on. Given he was only there for 10min. Need to be selecting mostly South African based players. Otherwise we will be watching Vodacom players in future in Super Rugby, our best will leave to play overseas if they think they will still get selected for Boks. If Kruger goes to Metro to play then surely Meyer will sit up and take notice? He should not get selected if he does. End of story that should send a message to the rest.

    Flo was a good call, but would like to see him back home playing his rugby. He very well could become the Bok Captain. Has good leadershiop qualities. Ruan was okay nothing more. He was very good in the first and second test against England at home, on this eoyt not that great and not that great in the RC either. We have youngsters coming through and home Meyer looks at them next year if they perform in Super Rugby. Reinach and Groom look the future for now.

  • 14

    12 @ Stormersboy:
    Frans Steyn was back at the beginning of June this year. Remember he played for Sharks against Bulls in Super Rugby also played against the Cheetahs. Was not allowed to play in the play offs. Meyer had asked him to come back home to play his rugby here and he did just that. Now Meyer goes and selects 5 overseas based players. Just not sending the right message through.

    I know we will always need some overseas based players, but only select them if we truly need them.

  • 15

    13 @ Puma:
    meant – feasible

  • 16

    @ Puma:
    :D

    Proofread much??

    Happy-Grin


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