June 30, 2011
Goode enjoyed a mixed time with the Sharks in Super Rugby, scoring a try, nailing a drop-goal and picking up two yellow cards © Getty Images
Schalk Brits Vilimoni Delasau Jonny Fa'amatuainu Andy Goode Alex Grove Ricky Januarie Willie Walker Ali Williams
Schalk Brits' headline-grabbing loan move to the Stormers this week may have sparked a fury in both hemispheres but he is not the first to be drafted in to fill a void.
In some cases it was crossing the international dateline and in others it was the simple matter of travelling 25 miles up the M5 although admittedly not at such an important stage of the season as Brits' switch from Aviva Premiership off-season to crunch time in the Super Rugby calendar.
All Blacks, comb-over's, Fijian flyers and Heineken Cup controversy - it is all here in this week's Scrum Sevens as we look at those who have made a temporary transition.
The Fijian flyer was at Montauban for the 2009-10 season but when they encountered financial difficulties, Delasau journeyed to fellow Top 14 side Toulouse on loan. Montauban ended the season relegated from the French top division but while Delasau was there he helped as best he could by scoring five tries in 18 appearances.
Due to Toulouse's lengthy injury list, Delasau turned in four appearances for the French giants returning one try at the close of the season. Toulouse rewarded Delasau with a permanent contract for the 2010-11 season and alongside the bad-boy of Fijian rugby, Rupeni Caucaunibuca, Delasau brought a distinctly Pacific-island feel to the back three. Alongside Cedric Heymans, Vincent Clerc, Clement Poitrenaud and Maxime Medard, Toulouse formed a potent attacking force which aided their quest for eventual Top 14 glory.
Following Bath's heavy recruitment drive in the back-row for the 2010-11 season, that saw the signing of international duo Simon Taylor and Lewis Moody, the Samoan utility forward found himself shipped out on loan to the Scarlets.
'Jonny F', as he became known, was a crowd favourite at Parc Y Scarlets but did not get offered a permanent contract and if selected in Samoa's squad for the Rugby World Cup, will join the exodus to Japan come October. While at the Scarlets, Fa'amatuainu turned in a memorable performance against Leeds in the Anglo-Welsh Cup scoring a hat trick. He also managed to get himself banned for three weeks following a dangerous tackle in the Scarlets' memorable victory over Perpignan in the Heineken Cup.
Former England No.10 Goode joined the Super Rugby side the Sharks on a loan deal in 2010 following an injury to their talismanic fly-half Juan Martin Hernandez and Steve Meyer being forced into retirement. Goode, who was plying his trade at Top 14 side Brive at the time, managed to last just five minutes in his debut against the Crusaders before getting a yellow card for a high tackle on opposite number Dan Carter. Goode did not help his cause by then picking up a second yellow card in as many matches against the Waratahs the following week for an infringement at the ruck.
Rod Kafer, Goode's rival for the No.10 jersey at the Leicester Tigers and now commentator, delighted in his former compatriot's misfortune by mocking him with the statement that he had "the only comb-over in Super Rugby." Goode, who ended up making five appearances for the Durban franchise, nailed a last minute drop-goal against the 'Tahs and crossed the line against the Blues, and now plies his trade with Premiership-bound Worcester Warriors.
Scottish international Alex Grove made the switch to Edinburgh from Worcester Warriors for six months for the start of the 2010-11 season with a view to improving his chances of World Cup selection. Grove made a solid impact for the Scottish region turning in seven league starts and two substitute appearances during the duration of his stay. Grove also played in the Heineken Cup against Cardiff in October 2010.
Grove will hope to be a key part of the Worcester midfield, but will face stiff competition from Alex Crockett, as they look to stay in the Premiership in their first season back in the top flight after their relegation in 2010. Grove, however, looks set to miss out on the World Cup in New Zealand after he was left out of Andy Robinson's provisional 40-man squad.
The Springbok scrum-half joined the Ospreys for three months…or was it two? The Ospreys were involved with a high profile disciplinary case involving the 47-cap Springbok as Heineken Cup rules stipulate that any player brought in on loan and registered for the competition have to be signed for the club for a minimum of three months. The Stormers originally stated that when they agreed to the Januarie deal, their man was joining the region on a two month deal, but the Ospreys soon claimed it was three.
Conspiracy theories and scandal aside, Januarie played six times for the region (four times in the Heineken Cup and twice in the Celtic League) during his brief stay and helped the Ospreys to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals after appearing in their epic win over Leicester. Having signed for the Ospreys on November 26, Januarie was back in training with the Stormers, on February 1, three or so months later…
New Zealander Walker joined Gloucester for the start of the 2006-07 season and enjoyed a hugely successful time at Kingsholm playing 64 times and scoring six tries. However, Walker found himself playing less of a key role in the side following the arrival of fellow Kiwi and All Blacks legend Carlos Spencer in February 2009.
Walker made the short trip to Worcester on loan for the rest of the season and famously helped them avoid the drop scoring 74 points in nine games. Walker's epic performances included a double win over his contracted side Gloucester. Walker was instrumental in both wins, 13-6 at Kingsholm and 14-10 at Sixways, kicking eight and nine points respectively. How Gloucester must have rued the day when they overlooked the small print in the Kiwi's contract.
The All Blacks lock made a surprise switch to English Championship side Nottingham on a month-long loan from the Auckland-based Blues at the end of December in 2010. Following an injury disrupted couple of years where he had three Achilles operations; Williams was determined to regain fitness ahead of the World Cup with the 2011 Super rugby season a key proving ground. Williams appeared four times for the Championship side and built his game time up from 20 minutes as a replacement against Moseley to playing a full-match against Rotherham. Since his return to Super Rugby, Williams has been in the form of his life.
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