SA wing finds a home with URC team
TRANSFER NEWS: South African Kobus van Wyk has found a new club three months after quitting eventual Premiership title winners Leicester.
It was March 31 when it was announced that the 30-year-old wing, who can also play midfield, had left Welford Road with immediate effect despite the English season still having a number of months left to run.
It was a curious parting of the ways given that Leicester had so much to play for in a campaign where they suffered numerous injuries before getting ultimately crowned Premiership champions with their dramatic June 18 Twickenham final win over Saracens.
No reason was specified at the time as to why an early release had been agreed between Van Wyk and Leicester, but the South African has now resurfaced at Zebre Parma, the Italian URC club.
“I’m looking forward to starting next season,” he said after the Parma-based franchise added him to a list of signings that includes Lorenzo Pani, Simone Gesi, Damiano Mazza, Ratko Jelic and former Bristol flyhalf Tiff Eden.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the Zebra family, wearing the club jersey, putting myself to the test in this new adventure and contributing to the growth of the team.”
📝💥Welcome Kobus Van Wyk!!
✅69 caps and 28 tries in @SuperRugbyNZ with @THESTORMERS @SharksRugby & @Hurricanesrugby
🏆 @WorldRugby U20 Championship title with @JuniorBoks in 2012
Full story ⬇️https://t.co/3Kl3Z9RGvH#WeAreZebre pic.twitter.com/AF0pi9JqmuADVERTISEMENT
— Zebre Rugby Club 🦓🏳️🌈 (@ZebreRugby) July 6, 2022
A Leicester statement issued when Van Wyk left them 14 weeks ago read: “Leicester have agreed to terms with Kobus van Wyk, allowing the outside-back an early release from his contract with the club. The 30-year-old has made 18 appearances for the club since his debut in October 2020.
“Prior to joining Tigers, van Wyk played for New Zealand’s Hurricanes and had spells with the Stormers and Sharks in South Africa, as well as a short stint with French club Bordeaux-Begles. Kobus van Wyk’s release is effective immediately.”
Leicester boss Steve Borthwick added at the time: “I want to thank Kobus for his contribution to our club during his time in Leicester. He joined us at the start of this journey we are on and has played a part in building the foundations for what is to come at Tigers. I wish him and his family all the best for the next chapter.”
The South African made just a single Premiership appearance last season – versus Saracens in October – but played three times in the Premiership Cup, most recently against Newcastle on March 18 not long before his departure from Leicester.
By Liam Heagney, @RugbyPass