LIVE

    Bekker quits WP for Japan

    2013-03-15 10:15
    Cape Town - Andries Bekker, the most-capped Stormers player in the history of Super Rugby, will move to Japanese club Kobelco Steelers at the conclusion of the 2013 Super Rugby season.

    The 2.08m-tall lock, who has 29 Test caps for the Springboks, aims to prolong his professional rugby career with the move to Japan.

    "I'd like to thank everyone at Western Province for their incredible support over the years," said Bekker.

    "It will be a sad time when I do leave Cape Town, but my wife, Elaine, and I are excited about the adventures that lie ahead.

    "I'm particularly excited about joining up with my fellow South Africans at Kobelco Steelers - players like Peter Grant and Jaque Fourie have had nothing but great things to say about the club," added Bekker.

    The 29-year-old will finish his 2013 commitments with the Stormers before departing for Japan, which means that he will be available for the knockout stages of the Super Rugby tournament, but this move does mean that his Springbok career will be on hold for now.

    "It was a tough decision for me to make," said Bekker. "I've spent my entire professional rugby career in Cape Town, but, at this stage of my life, I felt it would be best to further my career abroad and to embark on a new adventure - both as a person and a rugby player.

    "That said, we're just three games into the 2013 Super Rugby season... it's still a long season ahead of us and I'd love nothing more than to end my Stormers career on a high."

    The mobile second rower made his Stormers debut in 2005 and is on the verge of playing his 100th match for the Super Rugby franchise (he is currently on 97 caps), which would make him the first Stormers player to reach this incredible landmark.

    Bekker, South Africa's Super Rugby Player of the Year in 2010, has also made an additional 38 appearances for Western Province, since 2004 - scoring 12 tries for WP and a further 12 for the Stormers.

    Western Province Rugby CEO Rob Wagner commented: "The Bekker name is synonymous with WP and Stormers rugby - through Andries and his father Hennie, before him. It will be the end of an era when Andries departs for Japan.

    "We have seen Andries grow from a gangly schoolboy into a strapping Springbok. However, at this stage of his career a move abroad is in his best interests, so we wish him and his family well in the next exciting chapter of their lives."

    Read News24’s Comments Policy

    24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    88 comments
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk
    Most Read
    Commented

    Fixtures

    13 February 2015
    • Crusaders v Melbourne Rebels, Christchurch 08:35
    • Brumbies v Reds, Canberra 10:40
    • Lions v Hurricanes, Johannesburg 19:10
    14 February 2015
    • Blues v Chiefs, Albany 08:35
    • Sharks v Cheetahs, Durban 17:05
    • Bulls v Stormers, Pretoria 19:10
    15 February 2015
    • Waratahs v Western Force, Sydney 07:05

    Results

    02 August 2014
    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014

    Logs

    Rank Team P W Pts

    Opinion Poll

    Does the Waratahs' Super Rugby victory give the Wallabies an edge heading into the Rugby Championship?

    Monday Quiz Madness!

    TAKE THE QUIZ
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.