Out-half Boshoff could cut ties with Connacht early

The Springbok lost his father to a stroke this year and is keen to return to his family.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

NEW CONNACHT COACH Kieran Keane could be about to lose one of his capped players at the Sportsground with former Springbok Marnitz Boshoff set to return to South Africa a year ahead of schedule.

The 28-year old was Connacht’s marquee signing as they prepared to defend their Pro12 crown and while the former South African out-half had a severely disrupted season, it was hoped he would push on like Tyler Bleyendaal did in Munster.

But now it appears that Boshoff may be about to depart just a season into a two-year deal, leaving Keane with a significant hole in his squad to fill.

Connacht completed the signing of Boshoff in the middle of the 2015-16 season, just before Pat Lam snapped up  Dublin-born AJ MacGinty after his fine World Cup displays for the USA. After helping Connacht claim the Pro12 title, MacGinty was not able to stay around the Sportsground as new signing Boshoff was also ineligible to play for Ireland.

Liam Williams and Marnitz Boshoff Boshoff tackling Liam Williams. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Boshoff missed the start of the defence of the Pro12 because he was still contracted to the Lions in South Africa and then injured his shoulder in December after just two appearances.

He was due to return in March but suffered a personal tragedy when his father Jopie died after suffering a stroke while driving his car.

Boshoff went back to South Africa on compassionate leave and made two further appearances for Connacht when he returned to the Sportsground.

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It is understood that the loss of his father, who he was very close to, is a key reason for his return to South Africa and that he may not be seeing out the remaining year of his contract.

That leaves Connacht looking for an experienced out-half/centre as Keane takes over from Lam with several gaps to be filled in a squad which finished a disappointing eighth in the Pro12 and which will play in the Challenge Cup next season.

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John Fallon

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