PRO14

Goosen won't get warm reception in France - ex-Bok

2018-04-13 10:44
Johan Goosen (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok prop Keith Andrews says Johan Goosen can expect a hostile reception when he returns to play rugby in France.

Goosen will return to the playing field on Friday night when he starts at flyhalf in the Cheetahs’ PRO14 match against Munster in Bloemfontein.

He has been out of the game since late 2016 when his French club Racing 92 announce his retirement.

Goosen had earlier signed a contract extension with Racing, increasing his salary to €500 000 (R7.15 million) per year before quitting and returning to South Africa, leaving the French club fuming.

The 25-year-old will stay at the Cheetahs until the end of June, with French club Montpellier set to be his next destination.

Recent reports in French media suggested that Montpellier owner Mohed Altrad had agreed to buy out the player's contract with Racing 92.

Andrews spoke exclusively to Sport24 this week and said Goosen could be in for a rude awakening if he returns to the French Top 14.

“Goosen coming out of ‘retirement’ is a shocking decision to be honest, and it’s true when they say that a leopard never changes its spots. Having had the pleasure of playing rugby in France, Goosen will be very unpopular with Montpellier fans as well those from Racing 92 if he goes back there,” Andrews said.

“I don’t think he will get a warm reception. The French don’t forget those types of things and will know that he tried to pull the wool over their eyes. We don’t need mercenaries in the game - they get found out after a while. You can’t carry on like that because it’s not what the game is about. Rugby men are of a certain ilk and are supposed to be ethical.”

Andrews also indicated that Goosen may have received advice from the wrong people.

“Goosen has shown a patent lack of professionalism, but I believe it’s also a case of a greedy rugby agent advising him incorrectly. How can you suddenly retire when you are at the peak of your powers in order to get out of a contract and then come back two years later? It doesn’t sound right and is not what a rugby person should be doing.

“Maybe Goosen saw Euro signs flashing when he signed a contract extension until 2020 and wanted to buy a new tractor. But he now has to stand up as a man and say: ‘Listen, I made the wrong decision to renege on my agreement.’”

READ: Keith Andrews' full interview with Sport24

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