Controversial flyhalf Johan Goosen is about to make his official professional rugby comeback – according to reports coming out of South Africa.
Goosen is apparently set to lineout against Munster this weekend in the Pro 14 for the Toyota Cheetahs – according to sarugbymag.co.za.
It is the first time that he 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 onannouncedHe 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.
27-year-old Blommetjies will follow fellow Cheetahs player Uzair Cassiem to Parc y Scarlets this summer as both join the West Wales region, from Cheetahs Rugby, ahead of the 2018-19 season.
Blommetjies came through the ranks at the Bulls, playing all his junior rugby there, and later at the age of 20, made his senior debut in the Currie Cup. He has become an integral part of the Cheetahs side with many of their successes attributed to his play.
He has made 39 appearances for the Cheetahs in the Super Rugby competition scoring six tries and has represented South Africa at four levels; SA Schools Academy, SA Students, SA Under 20s and SA Sevens.
Paarl born Blommetjies has made an impact in his debut Guinness PRO14 season scoring four tries, making five try assists and features in the top five for metres gained.
Current internationals Aaron Shingler, Ryan Elias, James Davies, Rhys Patchell, Wyn Jones, Gareth Davies, Jake Ball, Jonathan Davies and Hadleigh Parkes have put pen to paper on new deals with the Scarlets as well as Dylan Evans, Jonathan Evans, Lewis Rawlins, Phil Price and newcomers Blade Thomson, Uzair Cassiem and Kieron Fonotia.
Commenting on the news head coach Wayne Pivac said; “We’re delighted to be welcoming Clayton to the Scarlets for the forthcoming season.
“He’s a talented player that can play in a number of position across the backline. His flexibility will offer us options, particularly during the international windows. Clayton is an exciting runner with a big kick off both feet and also has match-winning ability.”
“With Super Rugby and Guinness PRO14 experience Clayton will be an important addition to us going forward.”
Jon Daniels, Scarlets General Manager of Rugby said; “With so many players away during international windows we have been looking closely at the balance of our squad to ensure we are competitive both within and outside international windows. A player of Clayton’s ability and experience gives us greater strength in depth across the whole season.”
Blommetjies added; “This is an exciting new chapter for me and my family and one that I’m really excited for.
“When I met with Wayne and Jon I got a real sense of how professional the club is both on and off the field.
“They’re doing well in both European and Guinness PRO14 competitions at the moment and it’s an exciting prospect that we could potentially meet in the quarter finals in a few weeks time.”
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