Schalk off to Japan

Schalk Burger has signed a two-year deal with Japanese club Suntory Sungoliath.

The flanker will, however, still be available for play for the Stormers in Super Rugby.

'Rugby offers great opportunities to travel and expand your horizons,' he said. 'Japan ticks all the boxes: it will be hosting the World Cup in 2019, it has an ambitious rugby programme and it’s an exotic location that will take me out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to the change and I’m also looking forward to learning new things. I will have my family along too, which will make the transition a lot easier.'

Suntory, with Fourie du Preez at scrumhalf, reached the Japanese Top League final in the 2013-14 season, where they lost to JP Pietersen's Panasonic Wild Knights.

Photo: Luke Walker/Gallo Images

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Simon Borchardt