Francois Uys is set to leave Bloefontein. Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix
BLOEMFONTEIN – Cheetahs lock Francois Uys is heading the way of many other South African rugby players by signing a two-year contract to play for French club Grenoble this season.

Uys, who is 31, joins the French Top 14 club during a season where he has made several starts for the Cheetahs but also come on in the second half as a replacement.

This will not be his first taste of overseas rugby. Though he has played for the Cheetahs for the past nine years he also turned out for Toyota Verblitz and the Yokogawa Musashino Atlastars in Japan over the past two years.

The former Cheetahs captain has found himself mostly playing off the bench of late although he has had starts this season. Uys said that he was both excited and sad at the same time. He cites family responsibilities as his main reason for taking up the opportunity in Europe.

“It’s a family decision and everyone knows that financial situation in Europe is pretty good compared to the Rand at the moment."

With the Cheetahs' future in Super Rugby hanging in the balance there are fears of a player exodus, especially after the loose-forward, Boom Prinsloo, was released to link up with the Bulls and Uys now confirming his departure.

The player however feels that there is a still a great future for the Central franchise even if they get culled from the Super Rugby.

“I still believe that even if a guy decides to stay in South Africa it’s not all doom-and-gloom. There are a lot of opportunities."

Uys has represented the Cheetahs in 77 Super Rugby matches and Free State in 77 Currie Cup matches.

African News Agency

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