Super Rugby 2019: South African lock Andries Ferreira reportedly headed to Hurricanes

Andries Ferreira in action for the Lions
Andries Ferreira in action for the Lions. Photo credit: Photosport

Hurricanes coach John Plumtree seems to have landed his man, with star South African lock Andries Ferreira reportedly headed to the capital.

Ferreira, 28, has been a mainstay of the Lions programme over the last four years, helping them to Super Rugby finals in the past three.

He has been part of the Lions set-up during the 2019 pre-season, but his previous contract had ended and an extension was held up by niggling injuries.

Reports from South Africa now suggest he has decided not to renew with the Johannesburg-based side, after learning of interest from the Hurricanes and Highlanders in New Zealand.

At 1.97m and 120kg, Ferreira has played extensively overseas, serving previous stints with Zebre in Italy, Toyota Industries Shuttles in Japan and Toulon in France, but he's probably still a little smaller than Plumtree might have preferred.

The new coach has been a fan of big, strong South African forwards, after guiding the Sharks to Currie Cup success in 2008 and 2010.

After the Hurricanes' 2018 season ended with a semi-final loss to the Crusaders, the incoming coach lamented how his team was totally outplayed among the forwards.

"When you look at our pack, we probably need a 6ft 9in [2.1m] lock that is 140kg, which would help," he told RadioLIVE's Sunday Sport.

"We don't breed big guys, not like they do in South Africa and France."

Their comprehensive 38-22 loss to their Christchurch-based rivals on Saturday showed little had changed.

Over the summer, the Hurricanes lost Michael Fatialofa to Worcester and Sam Louisi has not played this season with injury.

Previous coach Chris Boyd often played specialist flanker Vaea Fifita in the second row, which did not help his selection prospects as an All Blacks loose forward.