Cobus Reinach is at a stage in his career where the Montpellier-bound scrumhalf feels he ‘needed to be aggressive’ about the growth he’s chasing, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
Last week the French club officially confirmed the signing of the 30-year-old from the Northampton Saints on a three-year deal.
Reinach will join fellow World Cup-winner Handre Pollard at the Top 14 club, which is also home to fellow South Africans Bismarck du Plessis, Paul Willemse, Jan Serfontein, Johan Goosen and Jacques du Plessis.
Reinach’s departure from Northampton marks the end of an incredibly successful stint at the English club for the former Sharks scrumhalf, but in an exclusive interview with SARugbymag.co.za, he explained the reasoning behind his decision to head to France.
‘I’m so stoked about this move and really happy to finally be able to talk about it. It’s been the worst-kept secret of the year! I’m at a stage in my career where I have to be aggressive about the growth I’m chasing. Ironically, it was my move to Northampton that showed me just how important choosing the right club at the right time is.
‘So, even though my family and I are extremely happy here, I’m leaving Northampton with a rustige hart [peaceful heart] because one, it’s the right time – I gave absolutely everything I had to give, and I learned everything the Saints have to teach. And two, I believe I’m heading to the right place – Montpellier and the Top 14 offer the opportunities I require at this stage to grow as a player.’
Prior to the cancellation of the 2019-20 Top 14 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, Montpellier were in eighth position in the standings, and the ambitious French club will undoubtedly be looking to emerge as title contenders once a new season can get under way.
On a personal level, Reinach says he felt the competition was a highly competitive arena that would challenge him to continue his evolution as a player.
‘I don’t think the Top 14 requires a different skill set to the Premiership. It’s not like when I came from the south to the north. Like I said previously, in my personal opinion, the Top 14 is currently the toughest competition at club level.
‘The intensity of the competition is a big attraction for me. If you look at the names the Top 14 attracts, it’s impossible to not want to be a part of that. Stepping on to the field with those guys you will have no choice but to lift and improve every aspect of your game.’