Edinburgh Rugby have recruited 2013 Currie Cup (First Division) and Vodacom Cup winning stand-off Carl Bezuidenhout on an extended trial until the end of the season.
The 27 year-old began training with the squad at Murrayfield Stadium this morning (Monday 30 December) two months after the Pumas’ unbeaten Currie Cup First Division triumph, in which he ended the season as tournament top points’ scorer.
He said: “I’m extremely excited to be here. “Playing in Europe is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now, I just needed the break and this is it. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for a new experience; different rugby, different people, different cultures, it’s all very appealing to me and I’m really glad I’m here. “I’ve always wanted to travel with the sport. I got married in March so it’s something that we both really wanted to try as well. “It’s just going to take hard work. I need to get stuck in from day one. “Hopefully I’ll get a chance out on the paddock soon to play my natural game and kick on from there. I’m delighted about it and want to grab it with both hands and get an extension.”
Bezuidenhout has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the business end of South Africa’s domestic cup competition.
He was part of the Natal Sharks Currie Cup squad that lifted the 2008 premier division title and reached the semi-finals on three other occasions.
He then spent a season with Eastern Province before moving to Nelspruit in 2010 where he was a key part of the Pumas’ improved fortunes, going one better than their 2012 runners-up place with this year’s flawless title win.
After eight seasons of southern hemisphere rugby he now has four months to prove that he is capable of offering an equally impressive contribution to the long-term plans of Edinburgh Rugby.
Head coach Alan Solomons said: “Carl [Bezuidenhout] has performed really well for the Pumas and played a pivotal role in their Currie Cup success this year. “His game management is very good, he’s got a good boot out of hand and for goal, and is very athletic. “He now has an excellent opportunity to show us what he is capable of, while also solving an immediate issue in that we are desperately short of fly-halves. We will have to see how he tracks for us but I think he has the ability.”
Carl Bezuidenhout (27), stand-off
Born: February 10, 1986, Grahamstown
Height: 6ft 3in (1.90m)
Weight: 14st 11lb (94kg)
Previous clubs: Natal Sharks (2006-09), Eastern Province (2009), Pumas (2010-2013)
Honours: South Africa President’s XV (IRB Tbilisi Cup winners)