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Springbok duo sign for Clermont

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Snubbed Springboks duo sign for French giant

French giants Clermont have swooped for a pair of snubbed Springboks.

Stormers JJ Engelbrecht and Cheetahs Rudy Paige have signed deals with the French outfit.

The Top14 team, who is expected to lose 12 players for the duration of the World Cup, have opted to recruit the duo along with two other players as cover.

According to French club’s official website, Cheetahs scrumhalf Paige and Stormers centre Engelbrecht has signed short-term deals and are expected to play the first eight matches of the 2019/20 season.

Paige, who has 13 Test caps, will come in as cover for Scotland star Greig Laidlaw as well as injured France No.9 Kevin Viallard (knee).

While fellow Springbok Engelbrecht will full the void left by French centres Wesley Fofana and Damian Penaud who were both named in coach Jacques Brunel’s World Cup squad.

The other two players to have signed are Bath Max Lahiff and New Zealand loose forward Faifili Levave.

Elsewhere Springboks captain Siya Kolisi will be given enough time to fully recover from his knee injury and will in all likelihood miss the opening Tests of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, in Johannesburg against Australia and in Wellington against New Zealand, in the next three weeks.

However, according to Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Kolisi’s return to play could include some game time in the Currie Cup, which is sponsored by DirectAxis Financial Services.

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Erasmus confirmed on Wednesday that Springbok skipper will miss at least the opening fortnight of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship. However, Kolisi will remain in camp with the Springbok training group to continue with his rehabilitation programme.

According to Erasmus, the Springboks won’t rush Kolisi back into action: “We will probably a bit conservative with Siya to make sure he is ready for the Rugby World Cup, which is the most important part of the year.

“We will wait for the results of his scans on Friday, and then we will take it from there and see what the return to play protocol will be.

“Siya will be training with us until we leave for New Zealand and then he will probably stay behind to play one or two Currie Cup games. Thereafter, we plan to get him back into playing Test match rugby, hopefully in the match against Argentina (in Pretoria on 17 August), and then it’s on the plane with us to Japan.

“I think if we push him now to go with us to New Zealand, we might end up with more than a 50 percent chance that he won’t go with us to the World Cup,” Erasmus explained.

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Snubbed Springboks duo sign for French giant