Tewis de Bruyn, the Free State Cheetahs' halfback, arrived in Lyon on Thursday as a medical joker to cover for injured scrumhalf Brice Salobert.
Lyon Olympique Universitaire or Lou as it is more popularly referred to is a club well over a century old. It did well in the 1930s but then had to make its way up through Fédérale and then Pro D2 to get into the Top 14 this season. That meant garnering many new players.
At present Lyon are second last on the Top 14 with just Biarritz below them. Even though they gave a game in hand they are in a precarious position in a league from which two will be demoted.
At this time many of the clubs above them are being strengthened by returnees from the World Cup. Now they have lost 30-year-old scrumhalf Brice Salobert who has injured the bicep in his left arm to the extent that he is expected to be out for at least three months.
A solution has been to recruit slow-moving De Bruyn to cover for those three months. 29-year-old De Bruyn, who has a big boot, has also played flyhalf for the Cheetahs but stopped being a first-choice players at scrumhalf when Piet van Zyl became the first choice.
De Bruyn says that Lyon will also consider him as a flyhalf. The club's regular flyhalves are Régis Lespinas and Xavier Sadourny but Sadourny is out for some weeks after injuring his right arm in Lyon's drawn match with Biarritz.
De Bruyn is contracted to the Cheetahs till May 2012 but coach Naka Drotské has said that the Cheetahs were happy to release him for three months to play for Lyon. De Bruyn intends being back at the Cheetahs on 5 February 2012 and is hoping to develop as a flyhalf where the Cheetahs have Johan Goosen and Sias Ebersohn at their disposal.
At Lyon, De Bruyn will tie up Springbok scrumhalf Ricky Januarie who joined Lyon this season and has been starting for them.
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