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Bekker spoilt for choice

Tue, 08 Jan 2013 16:16
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Habana has long been on Toulon's radar
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Stormers lock Andries Bekker is the latest Springbok at the top of the wish list of big-spending overseas clubs.

The 2.08m skyscraper’s contract with the Stormers and Western Province expires at the end of the year, and according to reports, he will have his pick of several top French, Irish and English clubs.

Bekker's agent, Hilton Houghton, hinted that the 29-year-old’s desire to continue to play for the Springboks could lead to a contract extension with the Cape-based union.

"There will obviously be lots of interest in a player of Andries' quality, but he currently has other priorities," Houghton told Die Burger.

Bekker missed South Africa’s end-of-year tour to Europe last year with a toe injury and struggled with a recurring lower back injury for a large part of the 2012 season.

The Stormers resumed their preparations for the upcoming Super Rugby competition on Monday and flank Schalk Burger looks set to return after missing the entire 2012 season due to a knee injury.

More clarity regarding the availability of wing Bryan Habana (knee), utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt (breastbone), scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage (leg), centre Marcel Brache and hooker Tiaan Liebenberg (both neck injuries) will be known later in the week.  

Habana has long been on Toulon's radar with Mourad Boudjellal, the French club’s president, stating as recently as December, "On a scale of one to 10 [on the likelihood of his arrival], I would say 10 but it is only my opinion."

Habana, however, is locked in a contract with Western Province until 2014.

The Stormers are likely to play pre-season warm-up matches against the Cheetahs and Boland, but details are yet to be confirmed.

The Cape Town franchise kick-off their Super Rugby campaign against traditional rivals the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, February 22.

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