Lions snare Van der Linde
July 21, 2011
Van der Linde will hope to add to his 69 Springboks caps in the forthcoming World Cup © Getty Images
The Golden Lions have bolstered their front-row options with the signing of Springboks prop CJ van der Linde from Western Province.
The 30-year-old is on the bench for South Africa's Tri-Nations opener against Australia on Saturday and will hope to be part of Peter de Villiers' World Cup plans.
If the 69-cap Springbok misses out on the final 30-man squad then he will arrive at the Lions from the start of August hoping to play a key part in their quest for Currie Cup glory.
Van der Linde will bring a wealth of experience to the Lions front-row having previously played for the Free State Cheetahs, the Cats and Heineken Cup champions Leinster.
"CJ comes with a wealth of experience and has tremendous value to add to the Lions," Lions boss John Mitchell said. "I'm really looking forward to working with a player of CJ's calibre and experience. I've always believed in developing youngsters as part of the expansion process and exposing them to experienced mentors such as CJ."
Van der Linde's arrival at the Lions - where he will line-up alongside Springbok fly-half Butch James in next season's Super Rugby competition - has also been praised by Lions CEO Manie Reyneke who said: "It is no secret that we've been speaking to CJ for the past few weeks and we are both honoured and humbled to have a player of his calibre and vast experience joining the Lions."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Wayne Barnes' decision to give Dylan Hartley his marching orders was brave but crucially it was the correct call." Graham Jenkins reports from the Premiership final
"We wanted to get the rugby spirit across to people, I firmly believe we have been in the thick of it." Tom Hamilton speaks to the ESPN crew on the final live broadcast
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown