Leinster recruit Springbok Zane Kirchner
April 22, 2013
Zane Kirchner will be in the blue of Leinster next season © Getty Images
The Bulls have confirmed that Springbok fullback Zane Kirchner will join Leinster at the end of the season on a two-year contract.
The fullback has 24 caps for the Boks and was part of the South Africa side that faced the British & Irish Lions in 2009. With Isa Nacewa set to leave the province at the end of the season, it seems likely Kirchner is the man the Leinster hierarchy have chosen to step into the Fijian's boots.
Kirchner's contract comes to an end in October, after the end of the Currie Cup season, but reports suggest Leinster are keen to secure an early release for the fullback so he can link-up with the rest of the side in time for their pre-season programme.
The Bulls tabled a new offer for Kirchner's services, but conceded they could not compete with the money on offer. Bulls' high performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg said: "We have been in talks with Zane and his agent since November and although it is very disappointing to lose his services, we wish him well with the new phase in his career.
"From our side, with coach Frans Ludeke very involved and in regular consultation with Springbok management, we tried our best to keep the player in Pretoria, but could in the end not compete with the exchange rate and the expectations of Zane and his agent."
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt added: "Zane Kirchner is a quality international player and we believe that he will add genuine value to the Leinster squad over the next few years. He's well balanced, fast and skilful and has featured for the Springboks in their last nine internationals. At 28 he is ideally placed to contribute to team performance while also passing on his experience to some of our younger outside backs."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'