Jaco Kriel set for Japan

Kriel will leave SA after the Super Rugby season & return in time for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

FILE: Golden Lions' Jaco Kriel. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - Jaco Kriel is set to miss this season's Currie Cup campaign after signing a two-year deal with the Kubota Spears in Japan.

He will leave South Africa after the current Super Rugby season and return to the Lions in time for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Kriel, who has been called up to the Springboks by new coach Allister Coetzee, will continue to be available for international duty.

"We see this as an opportunity which is mutually beneficial to both the Golden Lions Rugby Union and our players as we therefore manage to secure their services for a longer period of time," said Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the GLRU.

Kriel says winning the Currie Cup in 2015 was another feather in his cap and appreciates the opportunity to venture overseas during the Currie Cup season and experience another culture.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity of living and playing abroad and bringing back new ideas to my Lions team mates, which has successfully been done by Elton, Lionel and Warwick in the past. I feel I can contribute immensely and I really look forward to the challenge.

"Kubota has established an exciting team of players and coaches for this season and I am excited to be part of this new chapter."