Bok playmaker ready for shock Lions return

An overseas-based Springbok and Lions Super Rugby hero has been linked with a return to Ellis Park following his release.

Andries Coetzee was one of two players released from Italian side Benetton on Monday and according to Reportthe 32-year-old is expected to continue his career at home.

Coetzee, who won his 13 caps for the Boks in 2017, played for the Lions in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.

He joined Benetton last season from Japanese club Kintetsu Liners but made just nine appearances for the Italians in a season hampered by injury.

Coetzee and Italy international Luca Morisi were both granted an early release by the Treviso side.

“After a positive start to the year for me, I unfortunately had to battle a knee injury which made it difficult for me to get back into shape,” Coetzee said in an official club statement.

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“For me and my family it is very sad to leave Treviso because it is a nice place to live and we are happy to have enjoyed every moment. We will always keep this city close to our hearts and hope to return there one day. .

“As for the team, I think we had a good season and I think the team really has a lot of potential. To the fans, a huge thank you for making the home games so special. Looking back in my season here at Benetton, I will always remember the voices of our fans shouting “Lions”.

“I wish the best to my fantastic team-mates and to the people I may consider my lifelong friends.

“Thank you very much to the club and to everyone who has helped to make this opportunity a reality, especially the general manager [Antonio] Pavanello and team manager Ceccato who made me and my family feel at home.

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Charles P. Patton