Blow for Boks as Chris Cloete heads overseas
Port Elizabeth - Munster and the Irish Rugby Football Union have announced the signings of flank Chris Cloete and lock Gerbrandt Grobler.
Southern Kings and Pumas flank Cloete has signed a three-year contract while Grobler has signed a one-year deal.
26-year-old Cloete has made 21 appearances for the Port Elizabeth Super Rugby side, scoring six tries, and has enjoyed a standout season during the Kings' 2017 campaign.
Currently with the Pumas, Cloete previously played for Western Province in the Currie and Vodacom Cups, and also spent time playing in Sri Lanka.
A powerful loose forward that excels at the breakdown, Cloete's form this season propelled him into the South African 'A' side where he was instrumental in the 48-28 win against French Barbarians during the June series, scoring two tries.
Grobler makes the move from Top 14 side Racing 92 where he played on 20 occasions during the 2016/17 season, including a start against Munster in Round 2 of the Champions Cup, and scored five tries.
The 25-year-old imposing second row previously represented Western Province in the Currie and Vodacom Cups, and played Super Rugby with the Stormers.
While both signings are subject to being granted valid work permits and obtaining medical clearance, Grobler will link up with the squad during pre-season while Cloete will join the province on completion of his Currie Cup commitments.
Uncapped at national level, the move means that Cloete will be unavailable for the Springboks until 2019, in line with SA Rugby's new overseas-based player policy.