SA lock ready to rock Pro12

Wed, 31 Oct 2012 18:22
Large izak vdw 630 Large izakvanderwesthuizencheetahs Large izak van der merwe v kings

New Edinburgh signing Izak van der Westhuizen declared himself fit and raring to go on his arrival from South Africa on Wednesday.

New Edinburgh signing Izak van der Westhuizen declared himself fit and raring to go on his arrival from South Africa on Wednesday.

A cornerstone of the Free State Cheetahs' pack, the 1.96m, 113kg second row forward started every game in this season’s Super Rugby and Currie Cup competitions, where he helped the club retain their Currie Cup status in his last outing.

Despite missing only 40 minutes of rugby in 30 competitive games (as well as three warm-up fixtures), the 26-year-old stalwart assured fans he's desperate to bring his match fitness to the club's cause in the Pro12.

Van der Westhuizen, who arrived with his wife Bonita, is the third southern hemisphere signing at the club this season, following fellow Cheetahs prop Willem Nel and former Highlanders centre Ben Atiga.

He said: “I’ve played a lot of rugby this season but I’m keen to meet up with the boys and get into action as soon as possible.

“I’m really excited to be here. It’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to being part of a great club with a good attacking style.

“It’s often said that the Pro 12 and European Cup are the most physical competitions in the world, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it compares with my experiences in the southern hemisphere.

“I consider myself a pretty physical player, particularly in the tackle and contact areas, clearing out rucks and so on, while my line-out work is also something I pride myself on.

“I’ve spoken to Willem [Nel] since he arrived and he’s told me how professional the set-up is and how welcome he’s been made to feel.

“I’m really looking forward to my first match in the black and red of Edinburgh Rugby.”

Van der Westhuizen will undergo a medical at Murrayfield Stadium on Wednesday and is expected to be available for selection for this Friday’s match against Ulster at Ravenhill.

Profile: Izak van der Westhuizen (26) – lock
Born: 23/01/1986 in Kimberley (South Africa) - Height: 196cm (6’5”), Weight: 113kg (18st)
Rugby career:
Staats President Swart Primary School and Diamantveld High School
SA U18 development squad, University of the Free State, Free State Cheetahs U19 and U21, Free State Cheetahs XV (debut v Brumbies, 2010)

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9