Springbok and Toyota Cheetahs flank Heinrich Brüssow has joined the growing exodus of players out of South Africa after signing a contract to further his career in Japan.
The flanker, who has been ignored by the Springbok selectors over the past two years, and is currently not in Bok coach Heyneke Meyer’s plans, signed a two-year contract in Japan and is due to leave after the current Vodacom Super Rugby season.
Brüssow, one of the most popular players in Super Rugby, will join the likes of Andries Bekker, Fourie du Preez, Jacques Fourie and others in the Land of the Rising Sun.
While he declined to comment on the deal when contacted by supersport.com on Wednesday, Brüssow did say he didn’t want it to seem like he had “sour grapes” and that his decision was because of this.
However, the move isn’t that surprising given the amount of players who are moving abroad at the moment and the desire from foreign clubs to fill their ranks with South African stars.
The move was announced in Die Volksblad, but the silver lining for those in Bloemfontein is that he will be back to play Super Rugby next season.
His Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske confirmed the move suited them, as they would otherwise have lost Brüssow forever.
“I received a request to release Heinrich for the Currie Cup because he has an offer in Japan and spoke to our board of directors. We agreed that the move may not be a bad thing as he will still play for us in Super Rugby while if he moved on 1 November to Europe then we would have lost him forever,” Drotske told supersport.com.
“We are happy that we can keep him and we have already signed players like Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lappies Labuschagne, Raymond Rhule and Hennie Daniller among others for next year’s campaign.”
The Bok flanker’s decision was probably made easier when he wasn’t included in either the Springbok training camps or the current squad for the Castle Lager Incoming Series.