Cheetahs forwards coach joins players in leaving Bloemfontein

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It’s not just players who are leaving Bloemfontein in search of greener pastures.

Cheetahs forwards coach Corniel van Zyl is latest set to pack his bags and head to England.

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According to Sunday’s Rapport newspaper, negotiations between the 41-year-old and English Premiership club London Irish are at an advanced stage.

Van Zyl, who was born in Nelspruit, played 48 matches for the Free State Cheetahs and 24 for the Cheetahs in Super Rugby before heading for Italy where he represented Treviso in 160 fixtures between 2007-2015.

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His time in Italy saw him qualify for the national side for whom he subsequently earned eight caps playing in the lock position.

Van Zyl retired in 2015 and returned to South Africa to take up his current role at the Cheetahs.

PRO14 EXIT AND UNCERTAINTY IN GENERAL

While Van Zyl had extended his contract with the Cheetahs in June until 2022, their PRO14 exit and uncertainty surrounding their future forced him to look elsewhere.

Van Zyl told Rapport that London Irish had made him an attractive long-term offer that ‘I am considering for the sake of my family’.

The Cheetahs said they would consider releasing Van Zyl if a transfer fee could be agreed upon with London Irish.

The Cheetahs recently lost another two players – tighthead prop Luan de Bruin (Leicester Tigers) and lock JP du Preez (Sale Sharks) – to English clubs.

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