An inevitable item of rugby news was confirmed this morning when Leinster announced that South African back Zane Kircher would be joining Newport Gwent Dragons next season. The writing was on the wall for Kirchner when Leinster announced the signing of exciting Kiwi back James Lowe yesterday.
Kirchner's spell with Leinster was filled with more lows than highs, but credit where credit is due, Kirchner penned a surprisingly emotional goodbye statement to the Leinster family today.
Leinsterrugby.ie published the following statement.
“To a badge and a fraternity that literally turned my life around. A place that became home. Friends that grew closer then family.
“From me and my family we humbly thank everyone for the adventure. To the organisation, from top to bottom, thank you for allowing me to set foot in a club which I believe is the best that I’ve ever been.
“To the Leinster blue faithful, I hope that even for a little while I brought joy to your presence at our games. The roar and memories of the RDS is something I’ll carry and treasure for the rest of my life.
“I am very grateful.”
What a way to go out. We had no effect that Leinster had played such a pivotal role in his life.
Kirchner joined Leinster from the Blue Bulls in South Africa in 2013 and, rightly or wrongly, his arrival will inevitably be linked to the fallow post-BOD/Matt O'Connor years, where Leinster surrendered their place as one of top two or three sides in Europe. His time in Ireland has clearly had a powerful effect on him, and we wish him the best of luck with the Dragons.