Van den Heever makes a break against the Brumbies. ©INPHO/Photosport/Gavin Barker
backline dynamo

Munster confirm signing of South African winger Gerhard van den Heever

The 24-year-old will join former teammate CJ Stander at Thomond Park next season.

MUNSTER HAVE MADE an astute signing ahead of the new season after they today confirmed the signing of South African winger Gerhard van den Heever from the Stormers.

The 24-year-old, who replaced Bryan Habana in the Bulls’ Super Rugby team in 2010, joined the Springbok flyer at Stormers in 2012 but has been tempted to Europe by Munster coach Rob Penney. He will link up with former Stormers teammate CJ Stander at Thomond Park next season.

Van den Heever won the Super Rugby championship as a young squad member of the Bulls in 2010. His move to the Stormers, where he often played on the right wing with Habana on the left, brought him regular rugby [26 appearances over two seasons] and Currie Cup success with Western Province.

In a move similar to that of Stander’s, the winger will not join Munster until after the 2013 Currie Cup competition. The province made an error with the flanker’s Heineken Cup registration last season but lightning is not expected to strike twice and both South Africans should represent Munster in Europe’s premier competition in the coming months. Penney commented:

Gerhard is a young guy that is capable of playing in multiple positions and he has committed to Munster for two years so he has an opportunity to build in becoming a Munster man just like BJ Botha and CJ Stander before him.”

The versatile back can play fullback and centre too and is a youthful and pacy replacement for the retired Munster captain Doug Howlett. Van den Heever showed a glimpse of what was to come, as a 20-year-old, when he raced in an 85m try against the Highlanders in 2010:

YouTube credit: Grayditch

He scored his first try for the Stormers against the Lions in 2o12 but only added one more try in two seasons with the franchise. He started in the 14 jersey for Habana’s Super Rugby swansong, against the Bulls, earlier this month. While there was speculation that he might be lured to Ireland, Stormers fans were not aware it would be the last they would see of the former Springbok U20 star.

Van den Heever, who will hook up with Munster in November, said, “I am looking forward to joining Munster and I am humbled by the trust shown in my character and ability to be granted the honour of becoming part of the Munster way of life.

I will work diligently to justify the faith put in me and I will do my utmost to make a purposeful impact at the club every day. For now I will focus on playing my part to assist Western Province in defending the Currie Cup title.”

Originally posted at 5pm

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