Joe van Niekerk takes Saints to court

South African star Joe van Niekerk is taking legal action against Saints after his move to Franklin’s Gardens fell through at the last minute.

The 27-year-old No.8 was close to starting a three-year deal with Northampton, but the Saints had concerns about a spinal injury he had and were unable to gain the assurances they needed over his condition.

The injury caused him to miss the world cup with South Africa but now he says that he has medical evidence which he says proves he could have played.

“It’s done so much damage in my life. There’s the emotional side, my reputation abroad, simple things like moving out of my house and renting it, medical-aid,” he told The Times in South Africa.

Van Niekerk says that he is fully recovered from a lower back injury which he picked up at the Springboks’ first training camp this year and has returned to South Africa and joined the Lions in the Super 14 which is where he started his career.

“I’m going all-out to prove my point,” said van Niekerk who is managed by his mother Kathy.


“Also, to be coached by Eugene Eloff again is a privilege and the guys are a great bunch.


“The biggest thing is to let people know I can play game to game. It’s come down to me having to prove I can do it.


Coming back to Jo’burg is a Godsend, I feel it’s going to revitalise me.” he says on the Northamption Chronicle and Echo.

Saints chief executive Allan Robson at the time when Saints ruled out Van Niekerk said: “Our medical team was unable to provide a satisfactory report regarding Joe’s fitness.

“As a consequence, the contract concluded earlier in the year is no longer valid. We are disappointed that Joe will not be joining us.”

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