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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Springbok Lock Heading Home After Six Years in France

Following a six-year stint in France one Springbok is heading back to his old stomping ground

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(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Springbok lock Juandre Kruger is returning to South Africa and the Bulls following a six-year stint in France.

The 17-cap Springbok, who made his last international appearance in 2013 before his move, is a welcome addition to the Bulls squad following the departures of Lodewyk de Jager and RG Snyman to Sale Sharks and Honda Heat respectively.

Kruger took to social media to confirm his return and is excited to be back.

“Hi Bulls family. Juandre Kruger here. It has been a while since I addressed you guys. For those who haven’t heard I am super excited to announce that I am heading back to my old stomping ground, Loftus. I have just done a deal with the Bulls and I will be joining the boys in December later this year. I am looking forward to making you proud. I’ll check you in a few months,” he said.

The 33-year-old will bring plenty of experience having previously played for the Bulls between 2008 and 2013 before heading to Racing 92 where he stayed for three-years, winning the Top 14 in his final year. He then moved on to Toulon whom he is leaving to re-join the Bulls.

The Bulls finished the Super Rugby season with eight wins out of their 16 matches in the regular season before going on to be defeated by the Hurricanes in the quarter-finals.

Kruger’s signing is the second of an impressive week for the Bulls after they announced the arrival of Scottish international Josh Strauss earlier this week. He will link-up with the squad following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Champions Cup

Connacht Star Signs Contract Extension

One of Connacht’s biggest stars has confirmed that he will remain with the province for the foreseeable future

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Connacht ace Kieran Marmion has put an end to a long spell of speculation surrounding his future by signing a new contract at the western province.

The deal will see the scrum-half continue his stint with Connacht until at least 2023, putting a close to the speculation that he was set for a move abroad, with Saracens reportedly interested in the London-born player. 

Connacht head coach Andy Friend is delighted that Marmion has signed on as he believes he is a valuable player to have within the squad. 

“Kieran has been an outstanding player for Connacht and for Ireland,” said coach Andy Friend. He is a diligent professional and, through his hard work, he has progressed through the Connacht Academy and on to play for Ireland. His progress demonstrates the support that is available to players through our academy pathway. Kieran’s commitment to Connacht for a further three seasons demonstrates his ambition to contribute at provincial and international level in the coming years. His signing also ensures that we continue to retain a squad equipped to compete at the highest level of European club rugby,” he said. 

The 27-year-old is the fifth player to sign an extension with the club in the past two weeks as they look to continue to build for the future with captain Jarrad Butler, Tiernan O’Halloran, Sean O’Brien and Tom Farrell all signing new deals too

It also comes as a massive boost to the Irish national side as a move abroad for Marmion would have seen him lose his spot in the team, however, with this decision he can be included in new coach’s Andy Farrell’s thoughts. 

Having been excluded from Ireland’s Rugby World Cup squad it would have been unsurprising to see him chase a new dream elsewhere, but for now Connacht and Ireland fans will get to watch him on their shores during the prime of his career. 

Connacht will hope to use their extension delight to fuel them as they prepare for a tough trip to Toulouse this Saturday in the second round of the Champions Cup

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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Sonny Bill Set for Huge Post-RWC Offers

New Zealand veteran Sonny Bill Williams is in line to receive some massive offers once the Rugby World Cup finishes according to reports

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All Black star Sonny Bill Williams is apparently set to receive several offers come the end of his Rugby World Cup campaign according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The 34-year-old centre is expected to make his final appearance for the All Blacks this Friday when they take on Wales in the World Cup third-place play-off with his current contract with New Zealand Rugby set to expire once the tournament concludes.

However, according to the report Sonny Bill will not have to wait too long for more rugby as Rugby League side Toronto Wolfpack are preparing to offer him a two-year contract to play in Europe’s Super League, following their promotion to the top tier this year. 

The club who are funded by Australian billionaire David Argyle and are in the market for a marquee signing ahead of the new season with the report claiming that they will offer Williams a massive $9.7 million contract. 

If he moves it will see him return to league following his move to union previously, but when asked about his future during a press conference earlier today Williams refused to give away too many details instead stating fans would learn what’s to come sooner rather than later. 

“Soon bro, soon, we’re just trying to finalise that,” he said in response to a question on clarifying his future. 

There is a possibility that he may stay within rugby union as the report also says that a host of overseas teams are preparing to offer him deals to sign for them. 

Sonny Bill and his New Zealand team will be keeping their eyes on this week’s bronze final, but fans will be hoping that he confirms his plans for the future soon as they want to know where they can see him showcase his talents once more.

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Premiership

White’s Future Finally Sorted Out

Wallabies scrum-half Nic White has confirmed what team he shall sign for come the end of his contract with Exeter

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The Brumbies have confirmed the signing of Wallabies scrum-half Nic White from the Exeter Chiefs from the 2021 Super Rugby season.

White has signed a two-year deal that will see him through until after the 2022 Super Rugby season with his former employers, whom he lined-out for previously between 2011 and 2015. 

The 29-year-old has admitted that he is delighted to be moving home in a couple of years time but is looking forward to the remainder of his time with the Chiefs before then. 

“The Brumbies is home for me, and Canberra is home for my family, so to know that my future is set and that I’ll be back at the Brumbies. It’s so exciting. Right now, I’m completely focused on the Rugby World Cup and the Wallabies, and I look forward to getting back to the Chiefs and ripping in with them, but again, knowing I’ll be returning to a place and a club I love is really special,” he said. 

White re-signed with Rugby Australia in order to take part in this year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan and has since gone on to become the nations first-choice scrum-half ahead of Will Genia. 

Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar is excited for White’s return and believes that he will bring a lot to the squad. 

“We are thrilled to have Whitey returning to the Brumbies,” head coach, Dan McKellar commented. “He’s a world-class player, a player who demands very high standards of himself and expects the same of others. His work ethic, competitive nature and leadership will be so important to our squad when he returns,” he said. 

During his first stint with the Aussie franchise he scored 162 points over 67 appearances before playing two seasons with French Top 14 outfit Montpellier and is currently starring for Exeter in the English Premiership

Having made his Wallabies debut in 2013, he has gone on to feature in 29 tests and is set to play his 30th game for his country when they take on Uruguay on Friday where he is in the starting line-up as the Aussies look to end the pool stages with another win and having a chance to finish top of Pool C. 

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