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Janco Venter And Lesley Klim Join UK Ruby Teams

Namibian national rugby players Janco Venter and Lesley Klim have secured professional contracts with top teams in the United Kingdom. Klim has been signed up by English Championship side Jersey Reds, while Venter, is set to join an English Premiership side, rumoured to be Saracens. Venter, who ironically enough had been playing for the Jersey Reds for the past year and a half, said he couldn't confirm the move at this stage.

 Ït's true that I've signed a contract with an English Premiership side, but I cant say anything until the club makes the announcement first. But I'm very excited and I'm now just waiting to join them as soon as possible,” he said. The 25-year-old Venter, who has already represented Namibia 28 times at eighthman or flank, said his time at the Reds had been very successful. "I had a great time at the Reds, it was my first professional contract, so it was a new step for me and I learnt a lot.

Janco Venter / Welwitschias

We got top class coaching and the competition between the players was very high, so you had to be at your best to make the team,” he said. "I played about 35 games for the Reds over one and a half seasons and scored a couple of tries as well. I worked very hard and got positive feedback from the Reds, and I think my performances paved the way for me to join a bigger club,” he added. He, however, said he didn't play a role in Klim's recruitment by the Reds.

Ï heard they were looking at a Namibian player and then the coach mentioned it was Lesley, but I didn't have anything to do with it - Lesley created his opportunities through his own hard work,” he said. Venter said he had been staying in shape, while stuck in Windhoek due to the coronavirus. "I came back to Namibia when the coronavirus struck, because I didn't want to be stuck in England, but now I need to go back because the new season is due to start in July.

Now I'm just training on my own here in Windhoek - I follow a training programme to stay fit and since this month we also have access to the gym,” he said. Klim, meanwhile, on Monday confirmed that he had been signed by the Jersey Reds, saying that the move had been long in the works. “The Reds had been looking at me since I played for Doncaster Knights two years ago and when the Ospreys released me at the beginning of they year, they invited me to join them on loan. I only had a few training sessions before the coronavirus struck, but they must have liked what they saw and offered me a contract,” he said.

Lesley Klim / Welwitschias
"I'm pretty stoked and very grateful, because a lot of players are now without contracts or have had pay cuts due to the coronavirus pandemic. I was very fortunate to get my contract signed before the coronavirus broke out,” he added. Klim said he had remained in shape and couldn't wait to join the Reds. "Initially I was training on my own, but since this month I have been training in small groups with the national squad and also at the gym.

I'm supposed to be back in England on 1 July, so I hope to get back as soon as possible,” he said. Klim, who like Venter, is also 25 years old, was born in Keetmanshoop and has played 13 tests for Namibia since making his debut in 2017.
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