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Springboks 10 Pollard signs for Montpellier as Steyn returns to Bulls

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks have added more South Africans to their squad for next season.

THE BLUE BULLS have confirmed that Springboks out-half Handré Pollard has signed for Top 14 club Montpellier.

The 25-year-old will make the move to France after this year’s World Cup, where Rassie Erasmus’ Boks could meet Ireland in the quarter-finals.

The departure of 39-times capped Pollard is the latest blow for South African rugby, which has experienced an exodus of homegrown players in recent years.

South Africa's Handré Pollard Pollard in action against England last year. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

The Bulls have moved to replace Pollard with former Springbok out-half Morné Steyn, with the 34-year-old set to join from Stade Français.

Steyn helped the Boks to beat the Lions in 2009 and was the top points-scorer at the 2011 World Cup. He has been in France since 2013 but will return to his former club next season.

Pollard’s move abroad won’t affect his availability for Erasmus’ Boks after the World Cup, with the national team coach free to select players based abroad.

However, losing Pollard will weaken the Bulls even further after the exits of the likes of Jan Serfontein, Pierre Schoeman and Arno Botha in recent seasons.

Elsewhere, English club Sale have confirmed the signing of twin brothers Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez from South Africa’s Sharks on loan deals next season.

The du Preez twins – whose older brother, Rob, had already signed for Sale ahead of next season following a loan spell there last year – will return to South Africa in 2020 after their loan period in England.

Yesterday, Sale confirmed the permanent signing of Springboks prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who will join from the Sharks at the conclusion of the 2019 Super Rugby season.

The 30-times capped tighthead will join an ever-growing cast of South African stars in Sale, with the club having also confirmed the signing of Boks lock Lood de Jager ahead of next season.

Steve Diamond’s squad already includes Faf de Klerk, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Jono Ross and South Africa-born Scottish internationals Josh Strauss and Byron McGuigan, while Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe will also join next season.

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Murray Kinsella

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