Former All Black joins Lions

2010-01-06 22:00
Carlos Spencer (File)
Hendrik Cronjé

Bloemfontein – Former All Black flyhalf Carlos Spencer has joined the Lions in one of the biggest contracts ever in South African rugby.

It is believed that Spencer will earn bigger money than Juan Martin Hernandez at the Sharks. The Argentine flyhalf will still be available for the Sharks in this year’s Super14 and is set to join French club side Racing Metro before the Currie Cup.

Spencer, 34, is viewed as a replacement for the Lions’ Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius. Pretorius will play for the Force in Perth this year.

The New Zealand gamebreaker is expected in South Africa within the next 10 days. However, a problem with his work permit may delay his arrival.

Bloemfontein-based sports agent Stephan Weyers confirmed to Sport24 that Spencer had signed for the Lions.

He did not want to confirm rumours that it is the most expensive contract to date in South Africa.

Weyers said that Spencer had been released from his contract with English club side Gloucester and he may feature in the warm-up game against the Bulls at Polokwane on 30 January.

“Carlos will also be a skills coach for the Lions in this year’s Currie Cup,” said Weyers.

Spencer’s experience can prove invaluable for Dick Muir’s Lions, who will be without experienced players such as Jaque Fourie (centre, to the Stormers) and Louis Ludik (fullback, to the Sharks).

Spencer represented the All Blacks in 44 Tests between 1997 and 2004. He scored 291 points in 35 Tests.

He made his All Black debut in 1994 as a 20-year-old in a match against Languedoc-Roussillon before playing his first Test against Argentina in 1997.

Spencer has been one of the Blues’ stars before joining the Northampton Saints in 2005.

He scored 608 points for the Blues in Super rugby between 1996 and 2005.

Meanwhile, the Lions will have to wait until at least 21 January before knowing whether they will be able to consider JP Joubert as Spencer’s halfback partner.

Joubert’s dispute with the Free State Cheetahs has gone to arbitration.

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