Rugby | Former Springbok Kruger signs for Sale

London – South Africa lock Juandre Kruger has joined Sale from Paris-based Racing Metro, the English Premiership side announced on Friday.

His move across the Channel at the end of the season will see the 30-year-old reunited with Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond.

“I sourced Juandre when I headed up the recruitment at Northampton and he helped Saints to win silverware and also to the Heineken (European) Cup Final during his time at Franklin’s Gardens,” said Diamond in a Sale statement.

“He is a highly rated player and will do a great job for us,” Diamond added of the 17-times capped Springbok second row.

Kruger, who returned to the Blue Bulls before joining Racing Metro in 2013, said: “I am delighted to be returning to the Aviva (English) Premiership.

“It’s a well run league with some great players and coaches. I had a great time playing for Northampton after Steve signed me and am looking forward to returning to the UK.”

Diamond is clearly intent on building a big pack so that north-west side Sale, currently eighth in the 12-team Premiership and in no danger of relegation, can improve their position next season.

To that end, he also signed tighthead prop Kieran Longbottom from Premiership rivals Saracens.

The 30-year-old front row joined Saracens from Australia’s Western Force in 2014 and but the Perth-born forward is English qualified through a grandmother.

“I am delighted to welcome Kieran on board, he will fit perfectly into our plans, and the pack we are building for next season,” said Diamond.

“We have some more signings to announce in the near future. We have been working hard on recruitment and our signings should do well in the Premiership and excite our supporters.”

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