Japanese team set sights on Lions’ Kriel
Cape Town - Lions flank Jaco Kriel is reportedly set to join other South Africans at Japanese outfit Kubota Spears.
The Spears, in a statement on Wednesday, confirmed that Bulls loose forward Pieter ‘Lappies’ Labuschagne, Southern Kings flyhalf Louis Fouche and Highlanders wing Patrick Osborne will join them ahead of the 2016-17 season.
And it appears Kriel will also head to Japan after this year’s Super Rugby competition.
This comes after Japanese media outlet japonrugby.net listed Kriel as among the outfit's new recruits.
The Spears will also be coached by former Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.
The Lions have however denied that Kriel has signed a deal with the Japanese team.
“Jaco is still contracted to the Lions and is fully committed to the rugby union,” Lions CEO Rudolph Straeuli told Netwerk24.
It is believed though that Kriel may follow the same route as some of his team-mates and play the second part of the year in Japan.
Elton Jantjies, Warwick Tecklenburg, Lionel Mapoe and Andries Ferreira all play in Japan but return to Johannesburg for the Super Rugby season.