Edinburgh lures another SA star
Carl Bezuidenhout, who helped the Pumas regain their Currie Cup status, has become the latest South African to join Alan Solomons at Edinburgh.
The 27-year-old, who began training at Murrayfield on Monday, joins other SA players like Wicus Blaauw (from the Southern Kings), Cornell Du Preez (Kings), Willem (WP) Nel (Cheetahs) and Izak van der Westhuizen (Cheetahs) in Edinburgh.
"I'm extremely excited to be here," Bezuidenhout said of his arrival in the Scottish capital just two months after helping the Pumas claim the First Division (second tier) domestic title in SA and then regain their Currie Cup status by beating Griquas.
"Playing in Europe is something I've wanted to do for a long time now, I just needed the break and this is it.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for a new experience; different rugby, different people, different cultures, it's all very appealing to me and I'm really glad I'm here.
"I've always wanted to travel with the sport. I got married in March so it's something that we both really wanted to try as well.
"It's just going to take hard work. I need to get stuck in from day one.
"Hopefully I'll get a chance out on the paddock soon to play my natural game and kick on from there.
"I'm delighted about it and want to grab it with both hands and get an extension."
Bezuidenhout is on an extended "trial" until the end of the 2013/14 season.
He was part of the Sharks Currie Cup-winning squad in 2008. Bezuidenhout then spent a season with the Eastern Province Kings, before moving to Nelspruit in 2010 where he was a key part of the Pumas' improved fortunes. After finishing First Division runners-up last year, they went all the way this year.
After eight seasons of Southern Hemisphere rugby he now has four months to prove that he is capable of offering an equally impressive contribution to the long-term plans of Edinburgh.
"Carl [Bezuidenhout] has performed really well for the Pumas and played a pivotal role in their promotion to the Currie Cup this year," Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons said.
"His game management is very good, he's got a good boot out of hand and for goal, and is very athletic.
"He now has an excellent opportunity to show us what he is capable of, while also solving an immediate issue in that we are desperately short of fly-halves.
"We will have to see how he tracks for us but I think he has the ability."