Stormers flank Burger to join Japans Suntory

Stormers flanker Schalk Burger will join Springboks teammate Fourie du Preez at Top-League side Suntory Sungoliath in August, the Japanese club said Monday.

The announcement on Suntory’s website gave no details of the 31-year-old’s contract.

South African media reported he had signed a two-year deal with the former three-time Top League champions.

They said the deal would enable Burger to return to South Africa in the Japanese off-season to play Super Rugby for the Stormers.

Suntory also said they had signed Natal Sharks flanker Justin Downey, who is scheduled to join in mid-June.

Burger, the IRB’s International Player of the Year for the 2004 season, has played 68 times for South Africa.

The Springboks lifted the 2007 World Cup when current Japan head coach Eddie Jones, an Australian, was with the team as an adviser.

“I am looking forward to playing for Suntory Goliath,” Burger said in the Japanese-language statement on the website.

“It is a great honour for me to play with Fourie du Preez and many other standouts at the wonderful team, and to play in Japan where enthusiasm for rugby is rising ahead of the 2019 World Cup which it will host.”


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