Sharks prop signs with Biarritz for two months

2011-11-17 00:00

SHARKS tighthead prop Eugene van Staden has joined French club Biarritz, but he will be back in Durban well in time for the Super Rugby competition next year.

Sharks commercial manager Rudolf Straeuli told The Witness yesterday that Van Staden is on loan to the French club for two months.

“He needs game time after a stop-start season with us and will be with Biarritz for November and December. He’ll be back with us in January and will join the pre-season training group.”

Straeuli said that French clubs adop­ted a system where two “medical jokers” could be used during a season.

“It is perhaps something that Sanzar should consider after the controversy of the Stormers using Schalk Britz and the Sharks signing Freddie Michalak.”

Straeuli said that Biarritz were facing an emergency when Eduard Coetzee, another former Shark, suddenly retired following a problem with concussion.

“Van Staden will see them through to January when the contract window opens again,” Straeuli said.

The 31-year-old Van Staden will be having his second spell in French club rugby after having played for Montpel­lier from 2007-2010 before returning to South Africa to play for the Sharks.

Biarritz, five-time French champions and twice European Cup finalists, should have Van Staden in their side for Saturday’s Heineken Cup match with Saracens. Van Staden arrived at his new club on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Coetzee, a naturalised Frenchman, has been at Biarritz since 2007. He has been advised by several specialists to quit the game after a series of head injuries.

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