Bath deal to save Jaco

Springbok utility back Jaco van der Westhuyzen looks set for a return to the English Premiership in a bid to save his faltering career.

It has been reported that the 29-year-old Van der Westhuyzen, who played the last of his 32 Tests against Australia in July last year, is in talks with Bath.

A report in the Bath Chronicle said the forgotten Bok back is “talking terms” with Bath on a possible two-and-a-half-year contract.

Van der Westhuyzen’s previous stint in the Premiership, with Leicester Tigers in 2003/04, saw him earn a recall to the South African national team.

He played in all 13 Tests in 2004 and another six the following year, but by 2006 two years of rugby with the NEC Green Rockets in Japan saw his form dip alarmingly.

Even though he made four appearances for the Springboks in 2006, he has not played a Test since July last year.

He returned to help the Bulls win the Super 14 title this year, but has not been able to force his way back into Jake White’s Bok squad and has not even managed to get into the Blue Bulls Currie Cup squad.

He is now looking at the Premiership to get his career back on track.

If the deal comes off, van der Westhuyzen would swell Bath’s South African contingent to four – joining Sharks and Springbok fly-half Butch James, who moves to Bath after the World Cup.

Former Stormers hooker Pieter Dixon and the Cheetahs’ Springbok scrum-half Michael Claassens are already at Bath.


365 Digital

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