Pretoria - Loose forward Jono Ross says his
move from the Bulls to French club Stade Francais will start a new and exciting
chapter in his career.
The Bulls announced the early contract
release of Ross on Monday, which clears his move to Europe.
The 24-year-old will depart after spending
four seasons at the Bulls, while he also represented the Lions as a schoolboy
in 2007 and 2008.
Ross is relishing life in Europe next
"I really enjoyed life at the Bulls,
but when the opportunity came to join Stade Francais, it was a chance I
couldn't turn away," Ross told MyPlayers.co.za.
"They are one of the top clubs in
France and Europe. They are a team competing for domestic and continental
titles, and I'd love to be a part of that challenge.
"I'm busy preparing for my move
already. My family and friends are providing great support as they're helping
me organise everything. I will arrive in Paris on 1 December, so I will leave
the country in a few weeks’ time."
Experienced international players like
Italy captain Sergio Parisse and former Wallabies wing Digby Ioane feature in
the Stade Francais squad, while four South Africans in prop Heinke van der
Merwe, lock Gerhard Mostert, flyhalf Morne Steyn and utility back Meyer Bosman
are also based at the club.
"I don't expect it to be easy to play
my way into the match-day squad. I will have to work hard to prove myself
worthy of selection as there are great players at Stade Francais," said
"I look forward to working with the
likes of Sergio Parisse. They have played many Tests over the years, and I hope
to learn a lot from that experience. He's one of the best loose forwards in the
game, and that can only help me develop as a player.
"As for things off the field, I can't
wait to explore Europe. It's nice to have a few other South African players in
the squad and I'm sure they will help me settle in with a few braais, but I'm
really excited to explore the culture in Europe and France. I'm already
starting to learn the language, so hopefully things go well."
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