Stormers

Van Niekerk a conditional Saint

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Northampton owner Keith Barwell confirmed on Monday that South Africa flanker Joe van Niekerk has signed with the East Midlands club, but only if the team avoids relegation from the Guinness Premiership on Saturday.

The Saints must score two championship points more than Worcester in the final game of the season this Saturday to avoid relegation.

“Well, we have signed him,” said Barwell to the BBC.

“He has got a release clause in his contract to say he could avoid coming if we get relegated. That works both ways of course.”

Last month Van Niekerk’s mother and agent Cathy confirmed that Van Niekerk had been offered a contract worth more than ‘200,000 ($390,000) a year to go to Franklin’s Gardens after the Rugby World Cup.

But Van Niekerk made it clear that he would only move if the club stayed up.

The move, if it happens, will come at a time when the club is said to be struggling with internal unrest at the number of foreign big-money players plying their trade at the club, with former hooker and local boy Steve Thompson criticising the perceived lack of club heart shown by the journeymen.

 

365 Digital

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