Boks on Tour
Mapoe fast-tracked into Boks?
Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – Lionel Mapoe has apparently been told by the South African Rugby Union not to leave for Singapore with the South African Vipers Sevens team, as he will have to join the Springbok tour group in Britain next week.
The Sevens squad left South Africa on Tuesday.
Sport24 is able to exclusively reveal that the wheels are turning behind the scenes to have Mapoe join the Bok squad as quickly as possible.
Mapoe has not played any rugby over the past seven months as at first he was injured and then he was involved in a contract dispute between the Sharks and the Free State.
Mapoe joined up with the Sharks but after the Free State took legal steps, the court ordered Mapoe to return to Free State.
Despite the verdict, Mapoe refused point-blank to play for the Free State again.
Meanwhile it appears that the Free State and the Lions have reached an agreement which has resulted in Mapoe being available to play for the Lions next season.
Sport24 learned that the Lions signed a binding agreement with Mapoe with the approval of the Free State Rugby Union.
It seems likely that Free State rugby is gaining financially from the "sale" of Mapoe and was therefore open to the transaction despite its dispute with the Sharks about the player.
It seems strange that Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, is clearly keen to take a player overseas who has not played in a match for almost six months.
Harold Verster, president of the Free State Rugby Union didn't want to comment on the sensitive matter.
However, Sport24 has learned that the Lions and the Cheetahs will hold a joint media conference later this week to officially announce Mapoe's move.
The Cheetahs and the Sharks go to the Free State High Court on November 12 to continue the fight over the wing.