Player Migration to the North

As of last week, the number of Southern Hemisphere players heading north after the completion of the Super season stands at 38. These players include a few that were not involved in Super Rugby, such as Johan Goosen who is leaving the Cheetahs for Montpellier and James Lay who leaves Bay of Plenty for Bath.

More names may follow, the recruitment officers are still out there.

We do not have updates for players going to Ireland, Wales, or Scotland. Figures for Japan are also still awaited.

In simple terms, the biggest losers are the Jaguares, as they see Lucas Noguera Paz, Santiago Cordero, and the hugely influential boot of Nicolas Sanchez head for England and France. As a club, the Jaguares do not have the depth of playing resources available to Australia, South Africa or New Zealand to replace departing players.

In terms of overall numbers, it is New Zealand that is hit the hardest by the 2018 player migration, with 15 players leaving, 13 of which are Super Rugby players. The departures are: James Lay (Bay of Plenty), Connor Collett (North Harbour), Brad Shields (Hurricanes), Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders), Ambrose Curtis (Manawatu), Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders), Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), George Moala (Blues), Ihaia West (Hurricanes), Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs), Dominic Bird (Chiefs), Liam Messam (Chiefs), Julian Savea (Hurricanes), and Jerome Kaino (Blues),

South Africa sees 10 players head north, with Gloucester claiming the biggest bag with 4 of the 10. Eight of the leavers played Super Rugby in 2018. The leavers are:  Franco Marais (Sharks), Jaco Kriel (Lions), Franco Mostert (Lions), Ruan Dreyer (Lions), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions), Nizaam Carr (Stormers), Francois Venter (Cheetahs), JC Janse van Rensburg, Raymond Rhule (both Stormers), and Johan Goosen (Cheetahs).

Australia have lost 9 players, all of which except one played Super Rugby in 2018. The leavers are: Nic Stirzaker (Melbourne Rebels), George Smith (Reds), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), Andrew Kellaway (Waratahs), Jono Lance (Reds), Eto Nabuli, Kane Douglas (both Reds), Ben Lucas (Reds) and Lopeti Timani (Rebels)

The clubs the departing players will be joining are:

In the Premiership:


In:  Lucas Noguera Paz (Jaguares)

Bristol Bears

In:  Nic Stirzaker (Melbourne Rebels), James Lay (Bay of Plenty), George Smith (Reds)

Exeter Chiefs

In:  Santiago Cordero (Jaguares)


In:  Franco Marais (Sharks), Jaco Kriel (Lions), Franco Mostert (Lions), Ruan Dreyer (Lions)

Newcastle Falcons

In:  Connor Collett (North Harbour)


In:  Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs), Andrew Kellaway (Waratahs)

Sale Sharks

In:  Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Lions)


In: Brad Shields (Hurricanes), Lima Sopoaga (Highlanders), Ambrose Curtis (Manawatu), Nizaam Carr (Stormers)

Worcester Warriors

In: Jono Lance (Reds), Francois Venter (Cheetahs), Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes)

In France’s Top 14


In:  Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders), Eto Nabuli, Kane Douglas (both Reds)

Clermont Auvergne

In: Tim Nanai-Williams (Chiefs), George Moala (Blues)


In:  JC Janse van Rensburg, Raymond Rhule (both Stormers), Ben Lucas (Reds)

La Rochelle

In: Ihaia West (Hurricanes), Lopeti Timani (Rebels)


In:  Charlie Ngatai (Chiefs)


In: Johan Goosen (Cheetahs)


In: None

Racing 92

In:  Dominic Bird (Chiefs)

Stade Francais

In:  Nicolas Sanchez (Jaguares),


In:  Liam Messam (Chiefs), Julian Savea (Hurricanes)


In:  Jerome Kaino (Blues)