Mapoe gets Bok blocked
Lionel Mapoe (Gallo Images)
Bloemfontein - Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu requested the use of rogue winger Lionel Mapoe for the upcoming Commonwealth Sevens tournament, but was refused by the Free State Rugby Union.
SuperSport.com can reveal that Treu had accredited Mapoe on request of his agent and the national selectors to be part of the South African team for the tournament in New Delhi, India, but the request was turned down by the Cheetahs.
Mapoe has been in a contractual dispute with the Cheetahs for six months now, and will head to the High Court in Bloemfontein on Thursday after he hasn’t returned to the city since losing the arbitration case in his favour.
Treu confirmed the request, saying he didn’t want to get involved in the dispute, but was looking to help the player get some playing time while he was in limbo. Mapoe is a Sevens Springbok and knows both the structures and game plan of the Sevens squad, and would have been a welcome boost to South Africa’s hopes of getting a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
“I just thought it would be the ideal chance for him to get some time on the field, which is valuable for a player like him who hasn’t played for some months. Naturally it would also have aided us in our quest for a medal in the competition,” Treu told SuperSport.com “I have to say that I am disappointed, not only for ourselves but also for Lionel, who needs to put this behind him and get back onto the field again.”
Mapoe lost the arbitration dispute almost two months ago, but has still been training in Durban with the Sharks since declaring his contract with the Cheetahs invalid. The Cheetahs are disputing this and have asked for a court interdict to compel Mapoe to head back to Bloemfontein and join up with his former province.