Planet Rugby

Exiles linked with Van der Linde

09th October 2013 13:26

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CJ van der Linde bok training 2010

Target: CJ Van der Linde

Aviva Premiership side London Irish are reportedly interested in signing veteran Springbok prop CJ Van der Linde.

The 33-year-old, currently with the Golden Lions and formerly with Leinster, has 75 South African caps to his name, and was part of the Boks side that tasted World Cup glory in 2007.

Irish are seeking cover for Tongan international Halani Aulika, who is out until April with an achilles injury.

"With Halani having a significant injury we are clearly looking at players," Irish boss Brian Smith told getReading.

"We are not in a position to say what we are doing just yet. It's premature to say anything because we are still having a good hard look."

The Premiership outfit are set to rest a number of their bigger names for the opening round of the Amlin Challenge Cup, where they host Italian side Cavalieri Prato at the Madejski Stadium.

Smith is keen to ensure impetus is not lost following an important victory over much-vaunted London rivals Harlequins on Saturday, but acknowledges the need for players to take a break.

"You'd like to keep this momentum, but then you have to look at rotating a few guys because there are a lot of players who have played a lot of minutes," added Smith.

"David Paice has hardly missed a minute through the trial games and our five games in the Premiership.

"We have a very skinny squad, a lot of injuries and have played some tough teams. Exeter always make you work very hard, Bath have a monster pack, and against Quins you need to play for 15 rounds. That took a lot out of our guys.

"Going off to the Amlin we have a feel-good factor, we can rotate the squad a bit, have a couple of those blokes play well and put pressure back on the starters for when we come back to the Premiership, ready to go to war again."

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