Conrad Jantjes will officially put pen to paper on Monday, sealing his move from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
The contract will start on November 1, which means theoretically Jantjes could still play a few games for the Lions in this season’s Absa Currie Cup.
“I would love to play a few games for the Lions before I leave,” Jantjes told keo.co.za. “I have been at this union for nearly ten years since my U19 days and it will always be special to me. I started in 1997 and I could have stayed, but I just felt the time was right to make a change.”
Jantjes has a long-term girlfriend in Cape Town as well as business interests. “I’ve matured enough beyond just thinking rugby and those were reasons I felt were important for me to make the move. I also have a horse that runs in Cape Town.”
“On the field I felt I needed a new challenge and I believe Western Province and the Stormers can provide me with that.” Jantjes has been capped ten times for the Springboks, and at just 26-years-old can rightly believe he can add to that tally.
Bok coach Jake White has already stated he is looking for a replacement at fullback for Percy Montgomery. A fit Jantjes could be just the answer and the move to Newlands might just provide the player with the opportunity to showcase his skills.
In the meantime though, Jantjes hopes to get a few more games for the Lions. He has been on the sidelines for three months with an Achilles heel injury, but has recovered fully and could be available to coach Eugene Eloff in a week or two. “As far as the injury is concerned I am fine, and I have been working hard on my fitness. I hope to start training with the Lions next week.”
Jantjes should not expect any favours from the Lions. Their treatment of Schalk Brits after he signed for Western Province will probably be repeated. Admittedly the Lions do need to work with players they are trying to mould into a team for the future.
Jantjes had a meeting with Golden Lions Rugby Union CEO Andy Turner today to iron out a few issues. “I would have preferred to have signed before it got in the media and I was hoping to speak to Andy first, but that did not happen. I wanted to do it properly. I didn’t want him reading about it in the papers. I really would like to leave on good terms.”
Turner was busy in meetings and could not be reached for comment.
By Andrew Hollely