De Villiers set for Munster move

The champion Irish rugby province Munster announced on Monday that Springbok centre Jean de Villiers has accepted their terms and is likely to join them in September.

According to the Munster announcement De Villiers will be requesting an early release from his contract with Western Province, which was due top end in October.

It is unlikely that WP will stand in his way as they have often been generous in this regard when similar requests have been made in the past.

De Villiers is presently with the Springbok squad, which is preparing for their 2009 Tri-Nations pipe-opener against the All Blacks in Bloemfontein on Saturday. The Boks’ Tri-Nations season ends on September 12 in New Zealand, after which De Villiers is expected to join the Magners League champions.

At Munster, De Villiers, the 2008 SA Player of the year, will be playing alongside several British & Irish Lions players who recently competed in a three-Test series against the Springboks.

This development will rule out De Villiers playing any part in Western Province’s 2009 Currie Cup campaign, more so as Munster are keen for him to arrive ahead of the ERC registration deadline on September 17.

The 28-year-old will be replacing former All Black centre Rua Tipoki who has been s star performer for the Irish outfit.
The 33-year-old Tipoki has returned to New Zealand.

De Villiers’ agent Stan Matthews also revealed that the Stormers centre had received an offer from a French club as well.

Fellow Springbok centre Jaque Fourie is also reportedly planning a move to Europe, with French side Clermont Auvergne tipped as his destination.—Sapa, AFP

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