Lions star in trans-Jukskei move

Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:25
Large grant hattingh lions 630 Large grant hattingh lions2 630

The Bulls have signed another one of the country's most promising forwards, Lions utility Grant Hattingh.

The Bulls have signed another one of the country's most promising forwards, Lions utility Grant Hattingh.

The 22-year-old - who joined the Lions on a short-term Super Rugby deal earlier this season - confirmed his trans-Jukskei move via two social networking sites on Thursday.

"Anyone got a place for me to stay in Pretoria?... or know of anyone pls let me know!!!!shot," Hattingh said on his Facebook page.

He followed that up with confirmation on his Twitter profile: "Nervous but excited! will be spending the next 2 and a half years in Pretoria! Bulls is great union!"

The revelation came on the eve of the Lions' final match of the season - ironically against the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

A spokesman for his agents, Global Sport Group, confirmed the player's move to this website.

"The circumstances [uncertainty] surrounding Super Rugby swayed him," the spokesman said about the protracted saga surrounding which teams would represent South Africa in the 2013 Super Rugby competition.

"He [Hattingh] is extremely grateful to the Lions for the opportunities they have given him, but he is excited about the next chapter in his career."

Hattingh - who played age-group rugby for Western Province between 2009 and 2011, and also represented Maties in the 2011 and 2012 Varsity Cup tournaments - made one appearance for WP in this year's Vodacom Cup.

He then replaced another Cape Town product, American Eagles No.8 JJ Gagiano, on the Lions' books.

Hattingh moved to Johannesburg to join the injury depleted Lions in April - making his Super Rugby debut as a 50th minute replacement for Hendrik Roodt against the Brumbies.

He has been a regular feature in the team since, but with talk that the Lions are to be kicked out next year to make space for the Southern Kings, Hattingh has joined the growing list of departures from Johannesburg.

Already stalwart centre Doppies la Grange has signed to play in Italy and winger Michael Killian confirmed that he will join up with the Kings.

Lions captain Josh Strauss, in a recent interview with this website, confirmed that players were "talking to their agents", as they didn't want to be left stranded without Super Rugby.

By Jan de Koning

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