Sunday afternoon 6th November 2016 I sit down in front of the tv and flick through the sports channels. Top 14 rugby! Yes! It’s Lyon v Toulon. I’m watching the game and me being a Lions (Johannesburg team) supporter, I notice with surprise that Andries Ferreira is playing for Toulon.
I was wondering what happened to Ferreira because he featured in a few Currie Cup games for the Lions after returning from injury but then disappeared and I had been wondering where he was in the Lions games against the Sharks and then their semi-final loss to the Cheetahs.
I’ve looked up a few articles and they all say he has joined Toulon as a ‘medical joker’ for the injured Juan Smith. Maybe it’s a common term used frequently but this is the first time I have seen it, the term ‘medical joker’.
I found this in an article called The Medical Joker-Rugby’s Rare Breed by James Harrington “Even in rugby, a game known for its strange and often highly specialised specimens, medical jokers are a rare and unusual breed.
They are super-powered chameleons, ready, willing and able to leap on to the nearest plane heading in roughly the right direction at almost no notice to take up a short-term contract with a club that is desperately seeking player cover.”
Once again I think the Lions have been wise here. Andries Ferreira will get well paid at Toulon for the 4 odd months he is expected to be there. Johan Ackermann gave younger guys opportunities in Ferreira’s absence during those last couple of Currie Cup games. The youngsters gained experience while Ferreira himself will gain valuable experience playing in a team with so many big name stars in it. By the time this short stint at Toulon is over Superugby will just be kicking off when Ferreira is due to return to the Lions.