Stormers fail to lure Fourie back
December 2, 2011
Fourie will not return to the Stormers for the 2012 Super Rugby season © Getty Images
The Stormers have confirmed that Jaque Fourie will not return to Cape Town and has instead signed a new two-year deal to stay in Japan with the Kobe Steelers.
The Cape Town franchise had hoped that the 69-cap Springboks centre would return to Newlands following his short-term deal with the Panasonic Wild Knights but they have confirmed that they have been priced out of a deal. Peter Grant will return in time for the 2012 Super Rugby season but with Fourie on a huge deal in Japan, the Stormers will turn their interest elsewhere.
Western Province managing director Rob Wagner conceded that the franchise lacked the financial muscle to tempt Fourie back. "Fourie's two year contract with WP Rugby ended after the 2011 Currie Cup and despite efforts to secure his services, Jaque has opted not to return. The deal is simply too big for us as a South African franchise," Wagner said. "Whilst we are obviously disappointed, Jaque made a huge impact during his stay in the Cape and we wish him well with his career in Japan."
And Fourie is relishing the opportunity on offer. Fourie told Union Sports Mag: "I am so excited to be remaining in Japan for a further two years with Kobe Steel. The Japanese people have been so welcoming and we love everything about the country, including the rugby. Kobe have been incredibly professional, patient and understanding in all of their dealings with me, particularly in relation to my short term stint with Panasonic, so I thank them for that and look forward to enjoying success with the Steelers."
The Stormers may now look to bolster their resources in the centres. They have Jean de Villiers and Juan de Jongh to call upon but Tim Whitehead and Johann Sadie both departed to pastures new after the 2011 Currie Cup. Adi Jacobs, however, is back in the Cape after leaving the Sharks and he will train with the Stormers with a view to earning a permanent contract.
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