Stormers coach Allister Coetzee says Quinn Roux’s Leinster contract is for one year only and plans for the young lock to return to the Cape franchise in May 2013.
On Wednesday morning, it was reported that Roux had signed with the European club champions, and that he would join them at the end of the current season. Coetzee has subsequently clarified that while Roux will be moving to Europe, it is a move that could benefit the Stormers in the long term.
‘Quinn sees it as an opportunity to improve as a young lock,’ explained Coetzee. ‘He’s playing behind four locks at this union. While he’s done brilliantly when he’s played, he needs game time.
‘He should be coming back to us in a year’s time. We are working [to finalise his return to the Stormers and Western Province in 2013]. I’m happy for him to go to Ireland as he will get more of an opportunity to play and also enjoy playing alongside guys like [All Blacks World Cup-winner] Brad Thorn.’
Roux is currently one of many second-row options available to the Cape franchise. Andries Bekker and Eben Etzebeth are Springboks, while De Kock Steenkamp and Rynhardt Elstadt have been in the Super Rugby mix for the past few seasons.
In 2012, Elstadt has been used on the blindside flank due to the number of loose-forward injuries suffered by the Stormers, but when the Cape side is restored to its full complement, Elstadt is likely to be used as a specialist No 4.
Jean de Villiers, who played a season for Irish club Munster in 2009/10, said it was a good move for South African players to spend some time abroad.
‘I enjoyed my experience there and I would encourage anybody with the same opportunity to take it. It would be stupid not to,’ said the Springbok and Stormers captain said.
‘To be based in Europe and earn good money, to have the opportunity to travel the world, and then have the opportunity to come back to South Africa, well it’s a great experience.’
Meanwhile, Stormers wing Danie Poolman will be moving to Irish club Connacht at the end of the season. Coetzee said that the move will be long term and that Poolman intends to become eligible for the Ireland national side.
By Jon Cardinelli