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4085 Topic: Bekker to head for Japan.

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Bekker to head for Japan.
March 15, 2013, 13:36:45

Andries Bekker, the most-capped DHL Stormers player in the history of Super Rugby, will move to Japanese club Kobelco Steelers at the conclusion of the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The 2,08m-tall lock, who has 29 test caps for the Springboks, aims to prolong his professional rugby career with the move to Japan. "I'd like to thank everyone at Western Province for their incredible support over the years," said Bekker. "It will be a sad time when I do leave Cape Town, but my wife, Elaine, and I are excited about the adventures that lie ahead. "I'm particularly excited about joining up with my fellow South Africans at Kobelco Steelers - players like Peter Grant and Jaque Fourie have had nothing but great things to say about the club," added Bekker.

The 29-year-old will finish his 2013 commitments with the Stormers before departing for Japan, which means that he will be available for the knockout stages of the Super Rugby tournament, but this move does mean that his Springbok career will be on hold for now. "It was a tough decision for me to make," said Bekker. "I've spent my entire professional rugby career in Cape Town, but, at this stage of my life, I felt it would be best to further my career abroad and to embark on a new adventure - both as a person and a rugby player. "That said, we're just three games into the 2013 Super Rugby season... it's still a long season ahead of us and I'd love nothing more than to end my Stormers career on a high."

The mobile second rower made his Stormers debut in 2005 and is on the verge of playing his 100th match for the Super Rugby franchise (he is currently on 97 caps), which would make him the first Stormers player to reach this incredible landmark.

Bekker, South Africa's Super Rugby Player of the Year in 2010, has also made an additional 38 appearances for Western Province, since 2004 - scoring 12 tries for DHL WP and a further 12 for the DHL Stormers. Western Province Rugby CEO Rob Wagner commented: "The Bekker name is synonymous with WP and Stormers rugby - through Andries and his father Hennie, before him. It will be the end of an era when Andries departs for Japan. "We have seen Andries grow from a gangly schoolboy into a strapping Springbok. However, at this stage of his career a move abroad is in his best interests, so we wish him and his family well in the next exciting chapter of their lives."

How can you build a squad like this. I do apreciate Bekker needs to cash in. So Allistair when does Quinn Roux return? Pouty

Tradgedy was he was over looked for the 106 kg stringbean wee vicrtor. Pappest lock in Bok history!!!

sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5844
RE: Bekker to head for Japan.
March 15, 2013, 15:28:39

@beeno1 aka storminged,

ohhhhhh, dont be sad buddy, like u said he does deserve to cash in. :o)

IMO hes done the smart thing, playing in japan will definately prolong his career & may make him available for the RWC. given his history with injuries and hwat have u, i really cant do anything other then look at the positives which are the bekker family get a nice payday, and the Boks tallest lock ever has extended his playing career.

the down side is, right now hes playing some of the best rugby in his life, one of a few players in the stormers to really step up this season.
a Bok locking combo of ezebeth and bekker with the current form that bekker is in and if ezebeth can replicate his 2012 form, dammmmmmmn, that would be one mean locking combo.

as far as the futures concerned, im sure the stormers would rather have ezebteh for the next few years over bekker if they were forced to choose, so its  a matter of finding someone who can fill in beekers shoe.
steenkamp has been adequate IMO, i dont know where all the talk abpout him being [removed] came from, but hes done the job, albeit not spectacularly, but he gets in there and does what i woudl expect a lock to do.
and given the depth at the sharks, the stormers could also maybe lure a player or two to bolster their ranks??? the lure of being a starting player might be enough to entice the likes of du toit, food for thought.

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