Clark anger over Fourie deportation decision

Calum Clark says it is a ‘real shame’ to see former team-mate Hendre Fourie facing deportation to South Africa.

Fourie has been forced to retire from rugby due to a shoulder injury and consequently saw his contract cancelled by Premiership club Sale Sharks.

That means his visa is no longer valid, and having spent eight years in England, being capped by the country eight times, the 33-year-old is now set to exit these shores.

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Clark, who joined Saints from Leeds Carnegie in 2010, played with Fourie at Headingley and he admits he is disappointed about the situation the flanker finds himself in.

“I tweeted about it and said it’s wrong,” said Clark. “I don’t know exactly the laws and why but he’s represented our country, he’s an honest man, he’s paid his taxes and he wants to raise a family and wants to teach in schools over here.

“The law’s the law and if he has to go it’s sad, but I think, personally, it’s a shame that someone who’s given so much and worked so hard is not able to stay in the country he wants to stay in and bring his family up in.”

Clark has nothing but praise for Fourie, a man he used as a role model during his time at Leeds.

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And the Saints star says he is just glad he got the chance to line up alongside such a committed rugby player.

“He’s a fantastic guy, a really honest man and he worked harder than any player,” said Clark.

“On the pitch he was phenomenally committed to the cause and to his team-mates so you could imagine that would spread further into other things he chooses to do in life.

“It is a real shame that someone like him doesn’t get to stay and have his mark on teaching young people in this country.

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“The year I spent with him at Leeds was probably one of the best years I’ve seen him play.

“He was one of the stand-out performers and he got capped so he is definitely someone I admire, for his commitment and the way he played the game.

“He’s definitely someone I’m really pleased I played with.”