Kruger signs for Racing
Springbok Juandre Kruger has turned down a contract renewal with the Vodacom Bulls and has decided to join French club Racing Metro in June.
Kruger, who made his debut for the Boks this year and played eight tests, will leave the Bulls at the end of June when his contract runs out and although the Bulls wanted to keep him until the end of the Super Rugby Season, the lock opted to move to Paris.
While it isn’t being expressly mentioned, Kruger has opted for a large contract in Euros as his future, as well as the experience of playing overseas, over an almost certain Bok career.
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer has chosen players who are based overseas in his first year, but also indicated that he will stick to a squad from 2013 to take through to the World Cup. By making the move Kruger is hoping that Meyer will still choose him even if he is based in France, and has gambled on his Bok career.
The Bulls are understandably miffed as sources confirm that they had a verbal agreement with Kruger last week, whereafter he returned to change his mind and then informed the Bok management of his move rather than the Bulls.
Kruger has not been available for comment as he is with the Bulls team at their pre-season training camp outside Rustenburg.
Vodacom Bulls Head Coach Frans Ludeke said they understand the reasons why Kruger decided to leave.
“It is always good to know and to hear that your players are wanted all over the world, but unfortunately it is not always possible to hold on to them once those offers start coming in,” Ludeke said.
“With the exchange rate as it is at the moment, it is very difficult to remain on level terms with those clubs when it comes to contract talks. We were very keen to extend his contract, but financially it was just not possible. We are very happy for Juandre, as it is a great offer he received, but that left us in an unfortunate position that we could not match it.”
Ludeke has no problem with Kruger’s continued commitment to the Vodacom Bulls in 2013.
“Not at all. Juandre is a real pro and I know we can still expect a 110% effort from him. We sat down as a group recently to discuss our goals and objectives for 2013 and I am very confident that we will get an exceptional contribution from Juandre right till the last game of our season.”