JOHANNESBURG – Former Springbok Johan Goosen ended a controversial 'retirement' by playing for the Cheetahs this weekend in a Pro14 home loss to Munster.
The 25-year-old fly-half/full-back walked out on Racing 92 at the end of 2016 despite having a contract with the French Top 14 club to 2020.
Goosen returned to his Bloemfontein home in central South Africa and became commercial director of a horse breeding business.
The South African will return to the French elite league for the 2018-2019 season, however, after Montpellier paid Racing 1.5 million euros ($1.85 mn) to buy out his contract.
Until he goes back to France in June, Goosen will train and play for Cheetahs, the team where he sprang to prominence as a superb goal-kicker.
He slotted two conversions and a penalty in the first half against Munster, helping the hosts build a 17-7 half-time lead.
But Goosen barely handled the ball in the second half as the dominant Irish side kicked four penalties for a 19-17 victory.
The fly-half was replaced 12 minutes from time in a match watched by new South Africa coach Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus.
Goosen is ineligible to play for the Springboks as overseas-based South Africans must have been capped at least 30 times to be considered.
However, Erasmus is reportedly considering asking SA Rugby officials to change a rule introduced last year.
Goosen won the last of 13 caps two years ago.