Leinster sign South Africa full-back Zane Kirchner from Blue Bulls
Last Updated: 22/04/13 12:59pm
Zane Kirchner: On his way to Leinster
Leinster have signed South Africa full-back Zane Kirchner from the Blue Bulls on a two-year contract.
Kirchner, who has won 24 caps for the Springboks, will fill the void left in the Leinster backline by the retirement of Isa Nacewa.
"Zane Kirchner is a quality international player and we believe that he will add genuine value to the Leinster squad over the next few years," said Leinster coach Joe Schimdt.
"He's well balanced, fast and skilful and has featured for the Springboks in their last nine internationals.
"At 28 he is ideally placed to contribute to team performance while also passing on his experience to some of our younger outside backs."
The Bulls admit they were desperate to keep Kirchner and have spent the last five months in negotiations with him but could not compete with Leinster's financial offer.
"We have been in talks with Zane and his agent since November and although it is very disappointing to lose his services, we wish him well with the new phase in his career," Bulls chief Janse van Rensburg said.
"From our side, with coach Frans Ludeke very involved and in regular consultation with Springbok management, we tried our best to keep the player in Pretoria, but could in the end not compete with the exchange rate and the expectations of Zane and his agent."
Kirchner is contracted to the Bulls until the end of October and it is not yet clear when he will join up with Leinster.