Springbok to join Courtney Lawes in France, Ackerman leaving and another Stormers re-signing

Jared Wright
Sharks Curwin Bosch, Gloucester's Ruan Ackermann and Stormers' Suleiman Hartzenberg.

A round up of some of the top transfers this week,

The Sharks look set to bid Curwin Bosch farewell at the end of the season as clubs round up their transfer business ahead of 2024/25.

Bosch has repeatedly been linked with a move away from the Sharks in recent campaigns but now looks set to officially head abroad.

Bosch to leave the Sharks

After a deal with Montpellier failed to materialise, the two-cap Springbok is now set to join England flanker Courtney Lawes at Pro D2 outfit Brive.

Bosch has fallen down the pecking order at the Sharks following the emergence of Siya Masuku in the number 10 jumper, with the ex-Cheetahs star shining for the Durbanites en-route to their Challenge Cup success while Aphelele Fassi has dominated the starting full-back role.

According to RugbyInformation, Brive are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Bosch from the Sharks, with former Hurricanes pivot Jackson Garden-Bachop leaving the Pro D2 side.

He is likely to be joined at Brive by ex-Fijian Sevens star Josaia Raisuqe, who is reportedly leaving Castres.

Meanwhile, RugbyRama reports that South African centre Nico Lee could be forced into retirement as he continues to struggle to recover from recurring knee injuries.

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Ruan Ackermann to Japan?

Gloucester back-rower Ruan Ackermann looks set to leave the West Country club despite recently signing a contract extension to remain in the Premiership.

Ackermann expressed interest in returning to South Africa before penning a contract extension with the Cherry and Whites but could be off to Japan instead.

According to a Rugby Pass report, he was in talks to reunite with his father Johann, who is the head coach of the Urayasu D-Rocks in Japan, but has instead decided to sign a lucrative two-year deal with the Canon Eagles.

He is set to link up with fellow South Africans Faf de Klerk – who he played alongside during his time at the Lions – Jesse Kriel and SP Marais.

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Lions miss out on hooker

The Lions look to have missed out on signing ex-Sharks hooker Franco Marais from the D-Rocks.

The front rower was linked with a move back to South Africa to link up with the Lions. However, the D-Rocks confirmed that while he is leaving the side, he is returning to Japan next season.

Johann Ackerman’s side clinched promotion to the Japan Rugby League One Division 1 next season but are set to lose a host of top players, including ex-Wallaby Liam Gill and former Sharks forward Tyler Paul.

Another Stormers re-signing

The good news just keeps on coming for the Stormers faithful with rising star Suleiman Hartzenberg adding to the list of players who have re-signed until 2027 with the Cape-based outfit.

Tipped for a bright future, Hartzenberg has already become a regular fixture in Stormers matchday 23s having made his senior debut at the age of 19.

He follows Sacha-Feinberg Mngomezulu, Dan du Plessis, Ruben van Heerden, Evan Roos and Manie Libbok in signing a three-year contract extension.

Papier puts pen to paper

The Bulls have also been busy with yet another star signing a contract extension.

Scrum-half Embrose Papier has penned a new deal with the franchise which will see him remain in Pretoria until at least June 2027. He has played over 120 times for the Bulls since his debut in 2016.

The news of his extension follows JF van Heerden, David Kriel, Johan Grobbelaar, Ruan Vermaak, Jan-Hendrik Wessels and others who have extended their stays while Boeta Chamerblain and Cobus Wiese join the Bulls next season.

Cardiff leavers, Mason Grady re-signs

Ahead of their final game of the season, Cardiff Rugby have confirmed the 14 players who will be departing the side.

Cardiff will bid farewell to Arwel Robson, Matt Aubrey, Max Clark, Gonzalo Bertranou, Ciaran Parker, Lopeti Timani, Aled Summerhill, Shane Lewis-Hughes, Owen Lane, Tomos Williams, Willis Halaholo, Rhys Carre, Ellis Jenkins, and Josh Turnbull.

Carre, Lewis-Hughes, Williams, Robson and Lane have all found new clubs ahead of next season while Parker and Jenkins have decided to hang up their boots.

Meanwhile, Cardiff ended months of speculation around Mason Grady’s future, confirming that the Welsh star has signed a new contract to remain at Arms Park.

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Ross Vintcent extends Exeter stay

Italian international Ross Vintcent has signed a contract extension with Exeter Chiefs after enjoying a breakout campaign with the Premiership side.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have made my debut in three different competitions for the Chiefs this season, though especially in the Premiership and the Champions Cup,” Vintcent told Exeter Chiefs’ official website.

“My ultimate goal while a part of this Chiefs squad is to push on and try to win a title in the next few years.”

George Turner to leave Glasgow

Finally, Glasgow Warriors have announced that Scotland international hooker George Turner is leaving the club at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old has spent seven years at Scotstoun and accumulated all of his 45 international caps in that time.

It was reported recently that Turner was being lined up for a move to Japanese side Kobelco Kobe Steelers, who are under the charge of former Warriors head coach Dave Rennie.

A statement from Glasgow on Thursday revealed that Turner would be joined in exiting the club this summer by Oli Kebble, Sintu Manjezi, Lucio Sordoni, Enrique Pieretto and Thomas Gordon.

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