Goosen close to French move?
Brenden Nel - SuperSport
Bloemfontein - Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen is on the verge of announcing a move to France at the end of the current Vodacom Super Rugby season.
According to the supersport.com website, Goosen has been eyeing a move since early in the season, and is likely to sign for French club Racing Metro in the next few days, leaving his Cheetahs side with a massive dilemma.
The Bok went to France earlier in the season during a bye week for the Cheetahs and visited both Racing and Toulon and has also been in talks with the Stormers, although this is the least likely option on his plate.
And with the Cheetahs struggling in this year’s Super Rugby competition, the pivot has his sights set elsewhere.
There is a worry that he remains an injury risk, and it will be interesting to see if Goosen is selected for the Springboks again, especially as his form has been more than patchy this season, as he has struggled to keep his place in the team, and has often played second fiddle to Elgar Watts.
The Cheetahs have also been dealt another blow as Volksblad reported Riaan Smit is also heading to France at the end of the season, meaning it will just be Watts as their only flyhalf option left for the Currie Cup.
According to the newspaper they have targeted Western Force flyhalf Sias Ebersohn to return to Bloemfontein as Goosen’s replacement.
This is rather ironic, as Ebersohn left the Cheetahs when he was getting little game time and had a public fall-out with coach Naka Drotske which resulted in a rather scathing interview on local radio station OFM where he said he didn’t want to return.
Things have obviously softened but Ebersohn looks to be enjoying his rugby in Perth now, and is playing well, so it will be interesting to see if the Cheetahs have both the financial muscle and clout to bring him back to South Africa.
There has been some speculation that he may head to the Stormers but supersport.com’s information is that he still has to convince Stormers director of Rugby Gert Smal he is the right choice as they already have both Dimitri Catrakilis and Kurt Coleman on their books.
The Stormers are also keen on scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, who is allegedly keen to come back to South Africa after 18 months at Toulouse and fight for a place in the World Cup squad next year.
Goosen’s agent Johnson says a decision will be made in the next few days.
“We have discussed Johan with the various interested parties as well as the Springbok management team. We will most likely finalise Johan’s future in the next few days,” Johnson said.
Meanwhile the Cheetahs will also be without scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius for three weeks, after he sustained an ankle injury. The Shimlas’ Renier Botha has been drafted into the squad as cover, as the Cheetahs have already released Kevin Luiters to the EP Kings.