South African import Super Rugby XV
SPOTLIGHT: @rugby365 contributor Angus Opperman selects a unique Super Rugby XV.
Unlike European and Japanese teams, Super Rugby mostly boasts homegrown players (at least nationality wise these days) but the odd foreigner has been involved through the years.
Here is a team of foreign players who laced up for South African franchises.
Note: Players like Tendai Mtawarira who was born in Zimbabwe, but represented the Springboks were not selected.
15 Clément Poitrenaud (Sharks & France)
Also comfortable at centre, the Frenchman racked up 337 matches for Toulouse between 2000 and 2016 before joining the Sharks in 2017 playing only four matches for the Durban based outfit.
14 Sereli Naqelevuki (Stormers & Fiji)
He was loved and hated in the Cape when he conceded a penalty in the dying minutes that Morné Steyn slotted ending Province’s Currie Cup campaign in 2009, but was a key man in a solid 2010 season where the Stormers made the Super Rugby Final. ultimately losing out to the Bulls.
13 Huw Jones (Stormers & Scotland)
If ever there was an unusual way to get a Test call up, it is the story of Jones. He came to the Cape on a gap year and played a bit of club rugby for False Bay before being snapped up by UCT for their successful Varsity Cup campaign where they made one of the comebacks of the decade to stun NWU-Pukke in the final. He then received a call up to Western Province and eventually the Stormers and got capped during that time before joining Glasgow Warriors.
12 Jamie Roberts (Stormers & Wales)
A late signing as the departure of World Cup-winner Damian de Allende left a big hole in the Stormers midfield in terms of experience. Roberts signed for the 2020 season and put in some great performances for the Cape side before the Covid-19 pandemic halted the competition.
11 Sailosi Tagicagibau (Stormers & Samoa)
This man had been around the block. Born in New Zealand he has represented the Chiefs, London Irish, Wasps, Stormers and Samoa. He joined the Stormers in 2014 after an injury-ravaged season and put in some solid performances for the side.
10 Carlos Spencer (Lions & New Zealand)
Does not need much introduction. The All Blacks and Blues legend joined the Lions for the 2010 season as a player as well as a mentor for most notably recent World Cup-winner Elton Jantjies.
9 Frederick Michalak (Sharks & France)
Became a bit of a Sharks legend during his time in Durban with his two stints with them (2008 & 2011-2012) and won a Currie Cup as well! He was a key player in the upset win over a table-topping Stormers at Newlands with two drop goals to send his side to the Super Rugby final in 2012 against all odds.
8 Jebb Sinclair (Stormers & Canada)
The Canadian loose forward signed midway through the 2012 season for the Stormers after a loose forward crisis. He was solid for them and won a Currie Cup as well, ending an 11-year title drought for Western Province.
7 Todd Clever (Lions & USA)
The first American to play Super Rugby. Clever was another import from the 2010 Lions team who didn’t always get the results but were quite entertaining!
6 Daniel Adongo (Kings & Kenya Under-21)
He had quite a journey himself. The Kenyan born flank played Currie Cup with the Sharks and Blue Bulls before making five appearances for the Southern Kings in their debut Super Rugby season. Since then he has converted to an American footballer joining the Indianapolis Colts as an outside linebreaker.
5 Manuel Carriza (Stormers & Argentina)
The Puma lock joined the Stormers in 2014 and played until 2015 and won a Currie Cup with Western Province.
4 David McDuling (Sharks & Australia U20)
Played only one Super Rugby game for the Sharks in 2016, but has featured in the Currie Cup eight times in 2015. The Aussie born lock has also played for the Reds and has been involved with the Waratahs.
3 Johannes Coetzee (Cheetahs & Namibia)
Currently contracted to the Cheetahs, he has been involved with the Bloem-based side since 2016 and has also been voted the Cheetahs Super Rugby player of the season in 2017.
2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (Cheetahs & Namibia)
A bit of a legend down in Bloem. The nuggety hooker has been involved there from 2013 until 2018 before furthering his career at Bayonne.
1 Eusebio Guiñazú (Stormers & Argentina)
Also, a front-rower that has been around the block and wore many team’s jumpers. He was a part of arguably the best Stormers team in 2010 making seven appearances for the Cape side that went on to contest the final, losing out to the eventual champions Bulls.
By Angus Opperman