Newport Gwent Dragons have added valuable International experience with the signing of Springbok Zane Kirchner.
The vastly skilled and knowledgeable player will join up with the Men of Gwent in the Summer following four seasons at fellow Guinness PRO12 club Leinster Rugby.
Kirchner has over 30 Springbok test caps having played fullback, wing and centre at the highest level. He previously has played for the Bulls in Super Rugby and the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup. During his five years with the Blue Bulls, Kirchner made 64 Currie Cup appearances whilst scoring 64 points. He made his debut for the Bulls in Super Rugby in 2008 making 81 appearances and scoring 105 points.
The versatile player won the Currie Cup in 2009 with the Blue Bulls as well as the Super Rugby title in 2009 and 2010 with the Bulls. As well as going on to win the Guinness PRO12 final in 2013/14 with Leinster where he scored two tries.
Commenting on joining the Dragons next season, Kirchner said: “When looking at the current squad, the average age and talent within the Region; that is what got me interested! I am keen to find my feet, settle in with boys as quickly as possible, and add value to the squad where I can.
“I believe the Dragons will definitely move in the right direction!”
On the change of scenery from Leinster to Gwent, he added: “New decisions and ventures aren’t always easy to make, however the experience of moving to Leinster, my first move abroad, has helped and knowing a few of the other South Africans in the squad makes my decision easier.”
Dragons Head Coach Kingsley Jones commented: “I am delighted to welcome Zane to the Dragons. His experience both on and off the field will be invaluable for this young squad.
“In addition to his experience, he understands how to win having played a major part in Super Rugby, International Rugby and through helping Leinster secure the Guinness PRO12 title in 2014.
“He is a great addition to our young back line and I believe he will bring a much-needed voice in the backs to help these youngsters with their development.”
Zane Kirchner is the latest player to sign up with the Dragons as he joins Welsh International Hallam Amos, Rynard Landman, Brok Harris, Ed Jackson, Nic Cudd, Adam Warren and skipper Lewis Evans who have all extended their contracts with the Welsh Region.