Clermont sign Paige, Engelbrecht as World Cup jokers

Sport24 columnist JJ Engelbrecht (File)
Sport24 columnist JJ Engelbrecht (File)

Cape Town - French Top 14 club Clermont have signed four players on short-term deals as Rugby World Cup jokers.

The club are expected to be without as many as 12 players for the duration of the September 20 to November 2 tournament.

Among the quartet signed are two South Africans - Cheetahs scrumhalf Rudy Paige and Stormers centre JJ Engelbrecht.

The duo are expected to play the first eight matches of the 2019/20 season.

Paige will cover for Scotland star Greig Laidlaw as well as France No 9 Kevin Viallard who is out with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Engelbrecht will cover for French centres Wesley Fofana and Damian Penaud who were both named in coach Jacques Brunel's World Cup squad.

Paige, 29, has played 13 Tests for the Springboks, while Engelbrecht, 30, has 12 caps.

The other two players to have signed are Bath front-rower Max Lahiff and New Zealand loose forward Faifili Levave.

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