Div wants Mapoe intervention
Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein – Springbok coach Peter de Villiers wants to intervene in the Lionel Mapoe saga.
If the Bok coach has his way, the Sevens Springbok will be back on the field as soon as possible so that the national selectors can consider him for higher honours.
De Villiers is so serious about the matter that he wanted to meet with the wing, agent Jan-Harm van Wyk, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské and Sharks director of coaching Rudolf Straeuli at 07:00 on Wednesday.
However, Sport24 has heard that the meeting has been postponed by the Bok coach. The reason is unknown.
Free State president Harold Verster confirmed that he knew about the proposed meeting.
“The saga is just taking a new twist every day and Mapoe has not yet returned. We are now considering further steps,” said Verster.
“The meeting is off because they also wanted to bring the Sharks in and we had to protect our rights.”
Advocate Bertus van Rhyn, the arbitrator in the tug-of-war between Free State and the Sharks about the player’s services, had ordered Mapoe to report for Currie Cup duty in Bloemfontein.
However, Mapoe is still in Durban and the Cheetahs cannot consider him for their team.
Sport24 can also reveal that Mapoe is considering furthering his career at an Australian rugby league side. He has apparently received an offer.
Mapoe has not played Currie Cup rugby yet following his recovery from a shoulder injury because of the tug-of-war between Free State and the Sharks.
The only way he will be able to be considered for the Sharks is if they are prepared to pay a big transfer fee to the Cheetahs, who still have a legally binding contract with the player.
If they don’t do that and Mapoe is not issued with a clearance certificate, he will have no choice but to play for the Cheetahs or continue his career in Australia.
Sport24 understands that Mapoe is in De Villiers’s plans and may be included in the squad for the end-of-season tour to Britain and Ireland. He has apparently been earmarked to play for the Boks at next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.