World Cup Winner Targets Heineken Glory with Leinster
26 June 2008 12:43pm
Van Der Linde and Buger after winnig the 2007 RWC final
2008 Magners League champions Leinster have strengthened their squad with the signing of South African World Cup winner CJ Van Der Linde and Australian international back-row forward Rocky Elsom.
The 28-year-old Christoffel Johannes Van Der Linde, who featured throughout South Africa's 2007 World Cup winning campaign, has signed a three-year deal with Leinster from Super 14 side the Cheetahs.
The 50 times capped Springbok plays at both tight and loose-head and is targeting a Heineken Cup medal as his key goal in Europe.
"I have always wanted to be part of a team capable of lifting the Heineken Cup, a trophy that has always been one of my goals, and it is important the team builds on its Magners League success.
Also joining the Dublin based side is Australian Rocky Elsom who has signed a one year deal with Leinster direct from the Waratahs.
The 25-year-old has been a regular for the Wallabies (33 caps) since making his debut in 2005 and was named captain of the Waratahs in 2007 with 66 Super 14 appearances (10 tries) to his name.
The versatile back row is looking forward to playing under fellow Australians Michael Chieka and Alan Gaffney, " I'm really excited about having the opportunity to play in a team that I know has a lot of good players. In Michael Cheika, the club has a very sought-after coach and with Alan Gaffney also joining the set-up, it's great for me personally that I am familiar with those two guys. It's very rare to have two coaches of that quality together in any set-up"
Leinster also confirmed that John Fogarty has joined the Province from Connacht, while scrum-half and wing Simon Keogh returns to Dublin after a five-year term with Harlequins.
Leinster will face old rivals Edinburgh in Pool 2 of the Heineken Cup along with English champions Wasps and Castres Olympique.
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.