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Controversial Goosen makes return

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It's happening...Goosen's pro comeback confirmed after controversial two-year absence

Johan Goosen will make his Pro14 debut this weekend for the Toyota Cheetahs against Munster on Friday.

He’s been named at flyhalf as the South African side seek a fourth win in a row, having defeated Connacht, Dragons and Cardiff Blues.

“We’ve now got three winnings on a trot and would like to keep the momentum and focus completely on Munster.” said Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan.

It is the first time that Goosen will play since announced his ‘retirement’ from the sport in 2016, a move that angered Racing 92 at the time.

Goosen walked out on his Racing contract last year, apparently claiming that he wanted to return to South Africa to take up a business opportunity.

However in February and RugbyRama and Midi Olympique reported that Goosen will now lineout for Altrad’s Montpellier next season in a move that may well be a watershed moment in the sport – ushering in a new age of mega money contract buyouts similar to that of Association Football.

It is however now understood that Montpellier will trigger a near €1.5million buyout clause in Goosen Racing contract.

According to reports president of Montpellier Mohed Altrad and Racing 92’s Jacky Lorenzetti came to an agreement for MHR to buy the player out of his contract for €1.4 million euros.

Goosen was voted best player of the Top 14 in 2016 but the last time he played in the Top 14 it was in November 2016.

In an interview in 2017 then Racing coach Ronan O’Gara said Goosen wanted to leave rugby to pursue a ‘rural life’. O’Gara told BT that: “I talked a lot with him, he was convinced that his life was to live on a farm. He said it three weeks ago that it was the will of his wife. If that’s it, that’s it… But it would be a great loss for rugby.”

The Cheetahs have found themselves under pressure to keep players, after a number of their best squad members announced that they would be making a move north.

This week the Free State Rugby confirmed that Tom Botha and Clayton Blommetjies will be leaving the Toyota Cheetahs after the Guinness PRO14 season. Botha will be joining Ospreys and Blommetjies, Scarlets in Wales.

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It's happening...Goosen's pro comeback confirmed after controversial two-year absence