Springbok and Stormers centre Jaque Fourie will not return to South Africa to play for the Stormers for the next two Super Rugby seasons at least.
Fourie's agent and Western Province Rugby have confirmed that he has signed a two year deal to remain in Japan for a further 2 years where he will join Kobe Steel.
Fourie left South Africa after the Rugby World Cup to play for the Panasonic Wild Knights but has now been offered the enormous Kobe Steel deal which is considered to be the most lucrative deal to have ever been awarded to a rugby player for a corresponding period.
The value of the contract is yet to be confirmed but is believed to be ZAR 22 Million (USD 2,575,000.00) for the two year stint.
"I am so excited to be remaining in Japan for a further 2 years with Kobe Steel. " Jaque told Union Sports Mag.
"The Japanese people have been so welcoming and we love everything about the country, including the rugby." said Fourie.
"Kobe have been incredibly professional, patient and understanding in all of their dealings with me, particularly in relation to my short term stint with Panasonic, so I thank them for that and look forward to enjoying success with the Steelers."
Western Province Rugby Managing Director says that the money being offered to Fourie was so big that they were not able to match it.
"Fourie's two year contract with WP Rugby ended after the 2011 Currie Cup and despite efforts to secure his services, Jaque has opted not to return. The deal is simply too big for us as a South African franchise." Wagner told Sport 24.
"While we are obviously disappointed, Jaque made a huge impact during his stay in the Cape and we wish him well with his career in Japan."