Mehrtens wants to be a Japie

Former All Black flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens has applied for South African citizenship, which would allow Harlequins to bring in an extra overseas player.

“I’m looking at it because South Africans play as locals over here,” the No 10 told the Sunday Star-Times. “But I’ve been investigating it from a while back – even before I looked seriously at coming to the UK I’d realised it would be a bit of a plus.”

Mehrtens was born in Durban during the last year of his parents’ five-year working holiday in South Africa and said he has always considered himself a New Zealander “with something a little bit extra”.

Meanwhile, English newspapers have reported that All Black captain Tana Umaga is set to join Mehrtens at Quins.

“I haven’t talked to Tana specifically about it, and I don’t know what his plans are although he has been talked about for a long time,” said Mehrtens. “I don’t know what he’ll do but I’d say he’ll probably play his time out in New Zealand.”