Fourie faces England exile over visa problems
- Published: 7/01/2013 at 09:45 PM
- Online news:
Former England international rugby union players Hendrik Fourie is set to return to his native South Africa because of visa problems.
Hendre Fourie (right) tackles Ireland's Tommy Bowe in Dublin last year. Fourie is set to return to his native South Africa because of visa problems after he retired through injury.
The 33-year-old has been in England for eight years, playing for northern clubs Rotherham, Leeds and Sale and his 18-month-old son, Hendro, was born in the country.
However, Fourie -- capped eight times by England -- was forced to retire because of a shoulder injury last week and had his contract cancelled by Premiership strugglers Sale.
That meant his British visa was no longer valid and left him facing the risk of deportation. Rather than have a lengthy battle with immigration authorities, Fourie is now set to head back to South Africa.
"I can play for England but I can't get a passport to stay in the country," he told Monday's edition of The Times.
"If I had remained on a sports people visa for another two years, I would have got residency, but unless someone is willing to give me another contract, that is not going to happen.
"My wife (Corlia) is South African, but my boy was born here and I would like to have stayed here and tried to get a teaching job.
"There were options to appeal but I would have had to wait another few years before I could get my permanent residency," the flanker added.
"It has been a red-tape nightmare and we just decided it was not worth all the hassle.
"That's the amazing thing, I am not able to claim any benefits in this country. I have always paid my taxes, have represented England, but I have to leave while you hear how they protect the rights of terrorists."
About the author
- Writer: AFP
Position: News agency