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White lands big SA fish for Brumbies

Wed, 26 Sep 2012 07:39
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It was a shame to see the Lions relegated at the end of the year
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Former World Cup-winning Springbok coach Jake White ended weeks of speculation by confirming he had signed a talented young South African with the view to turning him into a Wallaby.

The Brumbies confirmed that the final spot in their 2013 roster when to former SA Schoolboy star Etienne Oosthuizen.

The Golden Lions squad member committed himself for two years with the Brumbies and signed as their foreign development player - after Henry Speight's status changed to Australian in August.

With his eyes now fixed on joining the Brumbies and potentially representing the Wallabies, Oosthuizen said he was excited by the prospect of spending at least the next two years living in Canberra.

"Every player wants to develop their rugby under world class coaches like Jake White and Laurie Fisher," Oosthuizen said.

"As a South African, I realised the chance to move to Australia and join one of the world's best rugby programs was a once in a life time opportunity.

"I've followed the Brumbies development this year and they were one of my favourite teams to watch. I know I can add to their style and look forward to the coaching staff improving my own game at the same time.

"I haven't visited Canberra but from what I've been told the people there are rugby mad and passionate about the Brumbies. To be joining that kind of environment will only make me a better player so naturally, I'm really excited.

"It was a shame to see the Lions relegated at the end of the year and I am leaving some good friends behind in Johannesburg, but the prospect of contributing to the world's best rugby program has me in a good spot and I can't wait to get to Canberra."

Oosthuizen fits the bill for what Jake White is looking for in a lock - big, powerful and aggressive.

After starring for the Lions' Under-19 and Under-21 sides, Oosthuizen was picked for the Johannesburg franchise's top team in 2012 when he made his Super Rugby debut against the Cheetahs.

Working well in the line-out and around the park, Oosthuizen went on to claim another two caps in 2012.

Born in 1992, Oosthuizen is the youngest member of the Brumbies squad, but has managed to do more growing in that time than any of his new teammates. Brumbies fans can expect massive things from their new man mountain come game day.

After making his Currie Cup debut against the Cheetahs three weeks ago, Oosthuizen will remain in South Africa for the rest of the tournament and will join his Brumbies teammates during pre-season.

The Lions face Western Province this weekend.

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