Flyhalf Dean Grant is the latest South African to secure a move to play club rugby in France, having been released from his contract at Griquas.
MyPlayers caught up with Grant in January, with a main focus on balancing his professional rugby career in Kimberley and completing his Honours in Bcom Investments at the University of Cape Town.
Six months later, and Grant can celebrate his impressive qualification, and a new chapter in his rugby career.
After spending the past two seasons in Kimberley, the 26-year-old has secure a deal with French club Chambery, based in the south-eastern region of France.
Chambery play in Federale 1 (third division), having nearly qualified for the Pro D2 during the 2014-15 season.
“I want to thank Griquas for accommodating my career over the past two years by allowing me to balance my studies and my rugby commitments,” Grant told MyPlayers.
“Griquas is a proud rugby union, and I wish them all the success looking ahead. They have amazing talent and great depth in the squad this season, so I’m sure they will do well during the upcoming Currie Cup qualifiers.
“When the offer to join Chambery came my way, I definitely wanted it. At this stage of my life, I’ve achieved my academic qualifications and enjoyed my time playing provincial rugby. Moving to France will allow me to travel, experience a new culture and continue my professional rugby career.
“Griquas agreed to release me from my contract, so I’m all set to make my move in a few weeks time. I’m looking forward to this new chapter.”
Grant added that he will be aiming to advance through the rugby levels in France.
“Chambery want to work their way up the ranks in France, and hopefully, I can contribute to those goals. They came close to achieving Pro D2 promotion, so they will aim to go one step further next season,” said Grant.
“At the same time, I also hope to play against the top clubs, so I want it make the most of my opportunities overseas. Hopefully, I can attract enough attention to earn the chance to play in the top leagues.”
So is there any advice he has for young and upcoming South African rugby players before he jets off to France?
Having secured his Honours degree, Grant said securing a major academic qualification was a rewarding sacrifice.
“Studying and securing my honours was the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Grant. “Yes, it takes some effort and sacrifice, but you’re taking the time to invest in yourself.
“They say the average career span is only seven years in South Africa. Some careers even end earlier. So as a 19-year-old, what is your Plan B? What are you going to do after the age of 30? What are you going to do should you suffer an unfortunate, serious injury?
“With my academic qualifications, I am able to switch to an alternative career once I retire. You need to ensure you have a second career path in place.”