Kobus van Wyk admitted he initially turned down an approach from the Leicester Tigers before agreeing to make the move from the Hurricanes.
Van Wyk had signed for the Hurricanes earlier this season from the Sharks and made a seamless transition. He was in good form in Vodacom Super Rugby before the campaign was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 28-year-old continued his purple patch when Super Rugby Aotearoa kicked off and confirmed to SA Rugby magazine that the Hurricanes had tabled an offer for an extension on his initial contract. However, on Monday it was announced that Van Wyk has signed with the Leicester Tigers in England.
Speaking to StuffNZ, Van Wyk admitted he was at war with himself over whether he accept the Hurricanes’ offer or the one Leicester tabled last week.
‘It was the toughest decision of my career,’ Van Wyk said. ‘The first time I said no, I was keen to stay here. I’d even just bought a coffee machine from one of the boys.
‘My first choice was to stay at the Hurricanes but, with my faith, I always go with that, praying and getting an answer.’
He is only expected to report for duty in time for the start of the 2020-21 season and will thus be available to the Hurricanes for the full duration Super Rugby Aotearoa.
His teammate Ben Lam could unfortunately not strike the same deal with his new team, Bordeaux. Lam has to join the French club at the beginning of August, meaning the Hurricanes’ upcoming clash with the Crusaders will be his final match for them.
Incidentally, his last game will also be his 50th for the franchise and Van Wyk hopes to give Lam a happy send-off.
‘Playing your 50th, and last game, for the Hurricanes is a massive achievement for him. I hope the boys can bring it home for him,’ Van Wyk said.
‘It’s going to be a massive game, and probably decide what happens for us in our campaign and if we have a chance to win it. He is going to Bordeaux; I’ve been there and I’ve given him tips on some great wine he can drink over there. Hopefully in future I can go and visit and maybe have a wine with him.’
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