Percy Montgomery on Wednesday signed a one-year contract with Western Province.
Montgomery, who was the leading points scorer at last year’s Rugby World Cup in France, is hardly likely to play for the Province Currie Cup side due the heavy Springbok schedule over the next four months.
However, it is very likely that he was snapped up by the Newlands-based union to bolster the Stormers’ Super 14 campaign next year.
Springbok coach Peter de Villiers will be relying on the fullback to keep the World Cup champions on a winning streak in the upcoming Tests.
The former South African College Schools schoolboy graduated through the junior ranks in Western Province before he made his debut for the ”Streeptruie” in 1996. One year later he was capped for the Boks against the British Lions in Durban as a centre.
After a seven-year stint for Western Province and the Stormers, Montgomery left for Wales to play for Newport RFC and Newport Gwent Dragons until he returned to South Africa for a two-year stint with the Sharks.
He was back in Europe at the end of last year, this time with French outfit Perpignan.
Western Province official Gavin Lewis has also confirmed the signing of former Cheetahs flyhalf Willem de Waal from French club Narbonne. De Waal, a prolific points scorer, will be a most welcome acquisition since Province’s first-choice flyhalf, Peter Grant, is likely to be with the Springboks in the next few months.
As is the case with Montgomery, it will be a homecoming for De Waal, who represented WP at the under-18 Craven Week in 1996 and also played for the under-21s in 1999.
WP have also signed up Springbok AJ Venter from the Sharks. Venter, normally a loose forward, can also double up as a lock, and his first game for his new province is likely to be against the Sharks next month.
Wing Sireli Naqelevuki has been released to represent his country, Fiji, in the Pacific Nations Cup next month.
The Stormers Kiwi flyhalf, Tony Brown, has returned to play club rugby in Japan.
The Springboks have made heavy demands on Western Province player resources as 10 players have been included in the latest national squad for the upcoming Tests against Wales and Italy.
They are Andries Bekker, Gcobani Bobo, Tonderai Chavhanga, Bolla Conradie, Jean de Villiers, Peter Grant, Conrad Jantjes, Ricky Januarie, Brian Mujati and Luke Watson.
New WP coach Allister Coetzee will also have to do without the services of four other players who have been chosen for the Emerging Springboks squad that will campaign in Romania next month. They are Isma-eel Dollie, Morgan Newman, Richard Lawson and Jacobie Adriaanse. — Sapa