Schalk deal suits Stormers

    2014-06-02 14:14
    Cape Town - The Stormers are delighted that Schalk Burger will continue playing Super Rugby for them despite signing with Japanese club, Suntory Sungoliath.

    News broke on Monday that Burger had signed a two-year deal with Suntory.

    “First of all, I think everybody would agree with me when I say that Schalk Burger has been one of WP Rugby’s most loyal sons of the modern professional rugby era,” WPRFU President Thelo Wakefield said on the Stormers' official website.

    “Schalk has put his body on the line for Western Province and the Stormers since 2003. He has never had a professional rugby contract anywhere else, so he goes on this adventure (to Japan) with our blessing.

    “We wish him, his wife Michele and their sons the best of luck, but we also look forward to welcoming them back next year,” added Wakefield.

    Burger will link up with his new club in August and will thus not feature for Western Province in the 2014 Currie Cup, but he will return to Cape Town for the 2015 Super Rugby season.

    “Although Schalk will be a massive loss for Western Province during the 2014 Currie Cup, he will once again be available for the Stormers in the 2015 Super Rugby competition and, of course, the Springboks in the lead-up to the next year’s Rugby World Cup," added Wakefield.

    “Schalk will be missed during the period of August and October, but we look forward to seeing him back in Cape Town in 2015, refreshed and recharged and ready to once again contribute to the Stormers with his usual gusto.”

    Thirty-one-year-old Burger played his first senior match for WP in 2003 (against Eastern Province), boasting a total of 37 caps for WP. He has also played 95 matches for the Stormers since his Super Rugby debut against the Waratahs in 2004.

    The most-capped Springbok flank of all time, Burger has 68 Springbok caps to his name and was part of the Tri-Nations winning teams of 2004 and 2009, as well as playing a pivotal role in South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph.

    Burger was voted the IRB World Player of the Year in 2004 and the SA Rugby Player of the Year in 2004 and 2011.

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