Frans Malherbe. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)
Springbok and Stormers prop Frans Malherbe could follow team-mate Pieter-Steph du Toit with a move to Japan.
According to Rapport newspaper, the 30-year-old tighthead has received an offer from a Japanese club and he could leave after the Springboks’ series against the British & Irish Lions later this year.
The report added that Malherbe could stay in Japan for one or two years, before returning to South Africa in time for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
This follows last week’s report that flanker Du Toit would likely join the Toyota Verblitz club in Japan.
Du Toit has not yet turned down an offer from his current employers, WP Rugby, but it seems the Stormers are preparing for life without him.
Stormers coach John Dobson said Du Toit would go with blessings and well-wishes.
Du Toit has only just recovered from an injury that not only threatened his career, but almost saw his leg amputated.
“We pushed pause and literally said ‘Pieter, do whatever is best for you’. That injury has taken a significant trauma and it’s affected him quite a lot, mentally as well. Why we didn’t do a hard negotiation a few weeks ago is that we realised there are a lot of nuances to it and a human side to this injury.
“If you get a massive offer from Japan, which is a different sort of level of rugby, then frankly from our side he would be ill-considered not to consider it. The amounts there, for World Player of the Year, are just stratospheric, I would imagine,” Dobson said during a press conference last week.