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Andries BekkerAndries Bekker, the most-capped DHL Stormers player in the history of Super Rugby, will move to Japanese club Kobelco Steelers at the conclusion of the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The 2,08m-tall lock, who has 29 Test caps for the Springboks, aims to prolong his professional rugby career with the move to Japan.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Western Province for their incredible support over the years,” said Bekker. “It will be a sad time when I do leave Cape Town, but my wife, Elaine, and I are excited about the adventures that lie ahead.

“I’m particularly excited about joining up with my fellow South Africans at Kobelco Steelers – players like Peter Grant and Jaque Fourie have had nothing but great things to say about the club,” added Bekker.

The 29-year-old will finish his 2013 commitments with the DHL Stormers before departing for Japan, which means that he will be available for the knockout stages of the Super Rugby tournament, but this move does mean that his Springbok career will be on hold for now.

“It was a tough decision for me to make,” said Bekker. “I’ve spent my entire professional rugby career in Cape Town, but, at this stage of my life, I felt it would be best to further my career abroad and to embark on a new adventure – both as a person and a rugby player.

“That said, we’re just three games into the 2013 Super Rugby season… it’s still a long season ahead of us and I’d love nothing more than to end my DHL Stormers career on a high.”

The mobile second rower made his Stormers debut in 2005 and is on the verge of playing his 100th match for the Super Rugby franchise (he is currently on 97 caps), which would make him the first DHL Stormers player to reach this incredible landmark.

Bekker, South Africa’s Super Rugby Player of the Year in 2010, has also made an additional 38 appearances for Western Province, since 2004 – scoring 12 tries for DHL WP and a further 12 for the DHL Stormers.

Western Province Rugby CEO Rob Wagner commented: “The Bekker name is synonymous with WP and Stormers rugby – through Andries and his father Hennie, before him. It will be the end of an era when Andries departs for Japan.

“We have seen Andries grow from a gangly schoolboy into a strapping Springbok. However, at this stage of his career a move abroad is in his best interests, so we wish him and his family well in the next exciting chapter of their lives.”

14 Responses to Super Rugby: Bekker off to Japan

  • 1

    Well just as I said on the other thread, Bekker will not be available for Boks this year.

    Wish him all the best.

    We losing far too many players each year now to overseas clubs. Meyer has opened the door for this for sure. Was never a good thing to select so many overseas players last year. Now do hope the Sharks can sort out something with Jannie and Bissie to keep them here until world cup. Read Sharks are in talks with both of them. Hope we can sort something out, would be a huge huge loss to my team if they left the end of this season for France. Especially that we miss Bissie for half the season this year as well.

  • 3

    Good luck to him, but I have never really rated him. He doesn’t gratf hard enough in the rucks and mauls, and in spite of his height, never dominated in the lineouts like he should have.

  • 4

    He looked pretty dominant to me against the Chiefs on Saturdays and ruck cleaner is not his hob its Etzebeth’s job. No use having two locks doing the same thing. Matfield wasn’t dominant at the rucks that was Bakkies job. Bekker is n porselein pop en nou is die kop krap vir n maatjie vir Etzebeth in die bok trui.

  • 5

    @ Bliksem:
    One game in 5 that he impresses when he is not injured.

  • 6

    A fit Andries is a huge loss to the Bok lineout, make no mistake about that. At his best he has no peer in world rugby.

    But he’s been around a while now and probably feels it’s time to think financially, and we can’t blame him for that, so good luck to him, and I hope his last Stormers season is a blinder!

  • 7

    Please Ek kan hom al sien saam met so n kort Japsnesie.
    Andries sal voorwaar uitstaan!
    Ek glo nie daar het al ooit vantevore so n lang mens in Japan gespeel nie….

  • 8

    @ Stormersboy:
    He was unstoppable last Saturday, the Andries of old again.
    Good player this, one of the real hard men in SA rugby, I love to watch him play.

  • 9

    Gatvol of our good players leaving for overseas, may he tear his ballsack in his final game for the Stormers

  • 10

    Same goes for Juandre also leaving later this year

  • 12

    Gena_ZA wrote:

    may he tear his ballsack in his final game for the Stormers

    chance is slim for that, rather on a park bench Whistling

  • 13

    hy behoort ok te wees daar.die parl bankies is nie so hoog nie

  • 14

    @ Lion4ever:
    @ Lion4ever:
    Still 10 times the player Quinton Davids ever was


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