rugbyunion
Latest News:

News: Saints sign top South African prospect


By ComeOnYouSaints.com
March 20 2012

Northampton Saints today announced that one of the top prospects of South African rugby, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, will be moving to Franklin’s Gardens this summer.

Saints sign top South African prospect

Van Velze, a Number Eight who stands at 1m 92 and weighs 107kgs, joins from the Blue Bulls, where he has come through the Academy system to be regarded as one of the country’s highest rated young players.

The Bulls’ website says that “they don’t come tougher than this” 24-year-old, who twice captained the province’s junior team to the Vodacom Cup. Van Velze also captained South Africa Schools and was a nominee for the IRB Under-19 Player of the Year in 2007 before working his way through the ranks at Loftus Versfeld to become a key member of the Bulls’ Currie Cup squad and make his Super Rugby debut in 2010.

However Van Velze is excited that the next stage of his career will be spent at Franklin’s Gardens.

“I’m lucky enough to have got the opportunity to come here and take my career to the next level,” he told SaintsTV in an exclusive interview. “We see a lot of the games in South Africa with Saints being one of the biggest clubs, so we all know of the team and how it plays.

“I’ll be filling big boots, that’s for sure. But I’ll be coming to a club that’s very professional and with people who work hard and want to win trophies. I’ve been very impressed with the club; it’s somewhere which can be compared to the best clubs in world rugby.”

Director of rugby Jim Mallinder says that Van Velze has been a target for some time and that he is delighted that the player has put pen to paper.

“We’ve been following Gerrit-Jan’s progress for some time and are very happy that he is coming to Franklin’s Gardens in the summer,” he said. “He will bring plenty of qualities to our squad – he carries the ball well, has lots of pace and shows good game understanding and leadership.

“We will need all of those things as we look to stay at the top end of the Premiership and get to the knockout stages of European competition, and believe that Gerrit-Jan can play a big role in our development as a squad.”

View a Printer Friendly version of this Story.

Bookmark or share this story with:

ComeOnYouSaints.com
ComeOnYouSaints.com (IP Logged)

News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:03
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
Duckonstilts
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:07
Well thats good news :-) Can we all stop worrying now?

 
MESSAGES->author
StBleach (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:13
That is really great news..

 
MESSAGES->author
Matthew (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:16
Something special happening at the Gardens...? ;-)

 
MESSAGES->author
desbralass (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:17
Welcome aboard!

Bridesmaids no more.

 
St Owen
St Owen (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:17
Halleluja, some good news.

I like what (very) little i've seen of him on youtube.

Welcome

You can't always get what you want, But if you try sometimes well you might find, You get what you need.

Richards/Jagger

 
tws
tws (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:18
Go on the Offy, listen to the man , watch the video of him , then be excited, be very excited.

 
MESSAGES->author
Chris Hoddle (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:18
Yes good news indeed. hopefully will be the first of a few potential quality players signed up. Perhaps the centres next?

http://lowrence.com/_Media/chrishoddle.gif


[url=https:[www.justgiving.com], Please sponsor me here[/url]

 
MESSAGES->author
Howlin (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:20
Well I think he just about fits the bill.

(seems to have a better opinion of the club than many of its supporters too (Sm16) )

Saint til I die

 
LaurieK
LaurieK (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:53
Well timed Saints after our weekend of problems. Gerrit-Jan talks of proving a point but Barfly does not ask what that is or what it refers to. Welcome to the Saints. Roger's big boots may be about to be filled.

 
ElmaFudd.
ElmaFudd. (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 11:56
welcome on board sir, look forward to seeing what he can do and if he can match the mighty Rog for commitment and passion

 
MESSAGES->author
ChrisG (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:14
Great signing and well thought of in SA it seems.

 
eddiep
Edward (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:31
Fantastic news.

 
MESSAGES->author
Connorman (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:34
6ft 3in and just under 17 stone in real money, I believe.

1.92 means absolutely bu**er all to me smiling smiley

 
MESSAGES->author
saintian (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:38
Fantastic news! (Sm50) (Sm51)

...but the really importnat thing is what are we going to call him (other than 'sir' in the flesh)? With his surname and having watched the youtube clip, can I propose....


....Va-Va Voom?

 
Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:39
From what I can see on the offy, he is exactly the same weight as Woody so should still be a very strong mobile back line. Welcome to the Saints, bru.


FHS

 
St John
St John (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:52
Can someone remind me of the the rules re "overseas" players please and the implications for our other imports eg Pisi, Manoa etc?

Thanks

 
SaintsDuncan
SaintsDuncan (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 12:55
SA/Pacific Islanders aren't considered "foreign"

 
MESSAGES->author
saintian (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:00
...unlike Scotsmen in Newbury? (Sm14)

 
Duckonstilts
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:06
I dont think South Africans count. Infact i know they dont.

 
MESSAGES->author
St Francis (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:09
Good news, very good news. Next season will be a real one without an RWC to interrupt it, he should be able to get a pretty clear run, injuries permitting.

And it's at least three years before he can qualify for England! *

 
john benson
Ben Johnson (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:12
thumbs down

Come On You Saints

 
MESSAGES->author
Bob Stainsby (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:19
Yay! spiffing news indeed welcome Gerrit-Jan

2013/14 Aviva Premiership Champions 2013/14 Amlin cup winners

Thank you SAINTS team for a wonderfully entertaing season well played boys! (+coaches and all backroom staff)

 
SaintsDuncan
SaintsDuncan (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:20
Quote:
saintian
...unlike Scotsmen in Newbury? (Sm14)

Indeed Ian...they seem to be considered extremely foreign by some of the (so called ;-) ) locals

 
MESSAGES->author
Chris B (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:33
I gave up watching Southern Hemisphere super touch rugby a long time ago. He any good?

 
MESSAGES->author
Bob Stainsby (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 13:36
Wow! (Sm2) go and look at the vid of him playing for the blues talk about wrecking ball and explosive runner sheeesh can't wait to see him in GB&G

2013/14 Aviva Premiership Champions 2013/14 Amlin cup winners

Thank you SAINTS team for a wonderfully entertaing season well played boys! (+coaches and all backroom staff)

 
irthlingboroughsaint

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 14:09
Blimey!! just watched the ball carries vid on Youtube, he actually threw one man back from a standing still handoff!!
He has some real pace too and was really good at the base of the scrum underpressure.
Welcome indeed!

/*
Its all about interpretation, I'm right everyone else is interpreting it incorrectly!
*/

 
MESSAGES->author
StBleach (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 14:16
Im probably the most negative person around here - well, in the top ten anyway and Im over the moon.. just waiting to hear about the next one... bring it on..

 
muggs
Geoff S (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 14:24
He'll do for me, welcom big fella

 
GearsCT
GearsCT (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 15:33
No Christmas at the Gardens next season then? The Saints have signed Grinch.

 
skybluesaint
skybluesaint (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 15:33
Quote:
saintian
Fantastic news!...but the really importnat thing is what are we going to call him (other than 'sir' in the flesh)?

Gerrit Offamee?

 
Maverick1
Phil. (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 15:41
video: [url]

[/url]


(Sm13)

 
MESSAGES->author
Bob Stainsby (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 16:05
Yes but this is the real interesting stuff: (Sm124) would be my reaction as an oppo player

video: [url]

[/url]

2013/14 Aviva Premiership Champions 2013/14 Amlin cup winners

Thank you SAINTS team for a wonderfully entertaing season well played boys! (+coaches and all backroom staff)

 
jimmies
jimmies (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 16:46
He is like an outside centre in the loose, great powerful runs from deep, gets up to speed quickly and runs through into the tackler

Great stuff

 
Christoff
smitferbrainz (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 18:13
Looks totally awesome. Can't wait to see him in Saints colours and not being called up for autumn internationals or 6N games. Words "wrecking ball" we're used above. Spot on. He's going to some serious damage and he will score tries carrying defences with him.

 
DaventrySaint
DaventrySaint (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 21:02
Could potentially be a step-up from Rog in terms of athleticism and impact, but remains to be seen if his consistency and commitment is as fantastic as Sarge's. Still, can't wait to see him in a Saints jersey!

 
Alan B
Alan B (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 21:09
wow

and comes with the silky passing skills of a modern welsh centre

 
walks10
walks10 (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 21:23
he does look good, but i have a silly question! if he's so well thought of in SAFA land why is he coming over here? is he not getting opportunities in the S15?

 
irthlingboroughsaint

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
20/03/2012 21:40
I think that is why he says he has something to prove, possibily not being looked at in SA due to established names, another Mooj perhaps?
Can't wait to see him in a Saints shirt.

/*
Its all about interpretation, I'm right everyone else is interpreting it incorrectly!
*/

 
Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
21/03/2012 08:54
Wonder what Broonie feels about another 'short' 8

No alcohol for January. I'm a dryathlete in aid of cancer research.

Dryathlon

 
Saintly Russ
Saintly Russ (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
21/03/2012 08:56
Great news!

COME ON YOU SAINTS!

 
Broonie
Broonie (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
21/03/2012 12:41
the trouble with the new fad for*asterisks* is that people become unable to spot the more subtle efforts at humour.

for instance, i love AlanB's "welsh centre" remark above, but to be acknowledged on this board you need loads of asterisks.

i think we'll enjoy him,he may indeed become a cult figure for a couple of seasons, but the test of his longevity will be whether he can be coached to find either space or support once he's first pulled up his trees.

he's nigh on 6'4" , so not too short, and his hands look good and sticky, tick balance,tick pace, tick ticker, all look good.

i made little of ben morgan when i saw him at FG in the HC , but happily swallowed my words as soon as i saw his cameo against scotland - i would just say it's amazing what a "proper " 8 will do for the balance of back row, pack and indeed team.apart from his size and speed what impressed me about morgan was his automatic reading of the game and situations within it for a very inexperienced player.

what van velze seems to have is an ability to spot a potential disaster and react quickly to turn it around - a sort of "Horatio-on-the bridge" instinct which is important at 8. he's obviously played 8 for a long time. to dominate games over here he'll need to develop a nose for space; if you head on your own into a crowd of tigers or sarries they'll turn you over routinely.

it does look to me as though the big signing is going to be in the backs.

 
saint_tim
Saint Tim (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
21/03/2012 13:43
I too enjoyed the Welsh Cnetres comment broonie. Not all whistles too far above my head, although quite a bit does.

He sounds like he wil fit the bill at No8. From our senior academy broonie - who do you see as potential 8's? Nuttley isn't but I am not sure about some of the other names mentioned above.

To me the fact that No8 is such a pivotal role and needs experience showed in the flawed England WC campaign. The Hask played the best I have seen him but he made a mess of several things that are key to an 8. Easter on the other hand was as slow as ever - but he did do the No8 things and so we looked more balanced.

http://www.smurfomatic.plus.com/sttim.gif

“Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin

Tetleys Block F E143

 
Alan B
Alan B (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
21/03/2012 19:37
good grief

humour and rugby ,whatever next***************

 
Cransley Saint
Cransley Saint (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
22/03/2012 08:39
I have a mate who lives in Cape town who is a Bulls fan. Asked him about Gerrit-Jan, this is his response...

"As he competed for number 8 agianst Piere Spies, he wasn`t really tested at Super rugby level, he is better than Spies in my opinion.
Big loss for the Bulls.

You guys keep stealing my players!!! Enuff already!!"

 
Broonie
Broonie (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
22/03/2012 11:41
the big thing to remember about SA rugby is the sheer number of good, big,strong players who have good basics (as it's the first sport from a young age of a significant chunk of the population)

england has a bigger rugby playing population, but the drop off in standard is much sharper; south africa are 5 or 6 players deep in guys who could play test rugby without looking totally out of place.

thus the standard of the likes of kruger (youngster having to compete with victor matfield at the bulls) or van velze (youngster competing with pierre spies at the bulls ) is in reality going to be pretty high.

having sent kruger back a better player , i suspect we may have been trusted by the bulls as a good proving ground for gerrit.if the others want to get in the team ahead of him, then they will have to learn from him and surpass him, which will bring its own benefits ,and there is also the incentive of aiming for his shirt when he leaves

interestingly , the bulls were poor for a longish while, were rebuilt from the bottom up by that coach who took over from pat howerd at tigers (name escapes me) who returned to SA for family reasons and now find themselves over-rich in very good players . this seems like a way of keeping players on a bit of a string while letting them develop elsewhere.maybe we will also reach that stage if we keep improving .

 
MESSAGES->author
Stockers (IP Logged)

Re: News: Saints sign top South African prospect
22/03/2012 16:12
Heyneke Meyer is the fella you're trying to remember Ken.

I'd like to see Van Velze adding passing (including off the left hand!) and running into space to the skills demonstrated on the video above.

Northampton Saints - Aviva Premiership Champions 2013/14

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net
 

Northampton Saints Poll

Do you prefer the new way of doing MoTM Polls?

See results > Submit >>