Munster have announced the signing of South African winger Gerhard van der Heever on a two-year deal.
The 24-year-old joins the province from the Stormers but won’t link up with Munster until November after the end of the South African Currie Cup. That means he will miss the first two rounds of the Heineken Cup against Edinburgh and Gloucester but could be in contention for the back-to-back games against Perpignan in December.
van der Heever will compete with Simon Zebo, Keith Earls, Felix Jones and other new signing Andrew Conway for the outside back positions - but at 6ft3 and almost 16stone, he will offer a considerable physical presence.
For the last two seasons van der Heever has played Super XV rugby with the Stormers (26 appearances), and in 2012 he claimed a Currie Cup title with his provincial side Western Province.
He has a total of 57 Super Rugby caps to his name having previously played with the Bulls from 2009 to 2011, in which time he enjoyed both Super Rugby and Currie Cup success. In making the move to Munster Gerhard joins his former Blue Bulls and South African U-20 team-mate CJ Stander.
“Gerhard is a young guy that is capable of playing in multiple positions and he has committed to Munster for two years so he has an opportunity to build in becoming a Munster man just like BJ Botha and CJ Stander before him,” said Rob Penney.
“He is a wing, centre and fullback with a lovely kick and is exceptionally fast so he should be a great addition to the squad. We are very happy to have him coming to us and I know they are disappointed to see him go from the Stormers.”
“I am looking forward to joining Munster,” added van der Heever, “and I am humbled by the trust shown in my character and ability to be granted the honour of becoming part of the Munster way of life.
“I will work diligently to justify the faith put in me and I will do my utmost to make a purposeful impact at the club every day. For now I will focus on playing my part to assist Western Province in defending the Currie Cup title.”