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SA lock extends contract with French club after 150th cap

NEWS: South African lock Nico Janse van Rensburg celebrated his 150th cap for Montpellier last weekend by extending his contract with the French outfit for another two years.

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Montpellier lost 10-18 to La Rochelle in their Top 14 clash at Stade Marcel-Deflandre on Saturday.

The South African is now in his eighth season with Montpellier and is obviously enjoying his time in France, running out in his 150th game against La Rochelle.

This makes him one of a special group of players to reach this milestone and one of the most senior players in the Montpellier squad.

Janse van Rensburg moved to Montpellier in 2016 after struggling through two Super Rugby seasons with the Bulls from 2014 to 2016, not making a breakthrough in a squad littered with big names like Flip van der Merwe, Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, David Bulbring, Reniel Hugo, Jacques du Plessis while the likes of Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Jannes Kirsten and Irne Herbst joining the squad in the latter two seasons.

His big chance came when Jake White reached out to him during his time as head coach at Montpellier. Two Challenge Cup Trophies and five years later and Janse van Rensburg earned his first test cap for the Springboks.

When he arrived in France in 2016 little was known about the 2m tall lock.

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He gradually secured a permanent spot in the side and quickly established himself as one of the senior players in the Montpellier lineup.

Janse van Rensburg was one of the surprises when Springbok coaches Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus named the first Springbok squad after the 2019 World Cup.

Everyone was a bit surprised when the Montpellier utility forward’s name was read out as one of eight uncapped players in the squad.

This was mainly as back-up due to the fitness concerns of Lood de Jager and RG Snyman at the time.

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The lock made his Test debut for South Africa off the bench in the opening game of the Rugby Championship against Argentina in 2021.

Before that, he turned out for the South Africa A team in their 17-13 victory over Warren Gatland’s charges.

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