July 13, 2024

Lochner to join Harlequins Women

CAPE TOWN – Springbok Women lock Danelle Lochner will join a growing number of her national team mates to ply their trade overseas after signing with Harlequins Women, who compete in the Rugby Football Union’s elite competition for women, the Allianz Premiership.

Lochner is the third South African to sign for the London club, with Babalwa Latsha in her second season and Aseza Hele also bound for the Twickenham Stoop.

Lindelwa Gwala (Ealing Trailfinders), Catha Jacobs (Leicester Tigers) and Amber Schonert (Sale Sharks) are also likely to feature in this season’s competition.

Lochner, who plays for Brackenfell Rugby Club and DHL Western Province, said she cannot wait to join Harlequins.

“I am really grateful for the opportunity that I have been given and super excited about this,” said Lochner.

“To be playing amongst the best players in the world will be a massive opportunity to grow my game and develop as a player. I am hoping to expand my skill set and learn from this new environment.

“It is great that our players are been seen and asked to join those international teams as it will build our depth and experience in the squad and that is great.”

Lochner, a former Proteas netball player, made her Springbok debut against Canada earlier this year and played in all 10 tests in 2023, scoring two tries.

SA Rugby’s High-Performance Manager for Women’s Rugby, Lynne Cantwell, welcomed the move.

“We’re really pleased with Danelle’s opportunity to join Quins for 23/24 season,” said Cantwell.

“We’ve been building a great relationship with Quins for the past two seasons. This means Danelle will join Babalwa and Aseza for the season ahead, which makes her move over a much smoother land.

“Having the Springbok Women players exposed to a daily high-performance environment and league is the goal of the partnership, and positioning the players in a team where they’ll have a good experience is one of our priorities.

“Danelle has hit the ground running since making her test debut this year. We have no doubt she will learn a lot from her time, playing with and competing against some of the best players in the world.

“Then, like the other players abroad, we aim for them to return and apply those learnings to South Africa’s domestic and international game to help us accelerate our growth.”

Harlequins head coach Amy Turner said: “Danelle is a naturally talented athlete, who has transitioned well from netball into rugby over the past couple of years. She’s very dextrous and is a physically imposing player, who fits well with how we want to play the game and the DNA of a club like Harlequins.

“We’re excited to see how she develops in the environment alongside experienced internationals in Sarah (Bonar), Abbie (Fleming) and Kaitlan (Leaney), and look forward to welcoming her and all our other internationals back over the coming weeks.”

 

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