Lions respond to R21m Faf report
Cape Town - The Lions expect scrumhalf Faf de Klerk to honour his contract and stay with the union until the end of the 2018 season.
This comes after the Rapport newspaper suggested on Sunday that English club Sale Sharks were busy negotiating to sign the Springbok in a deal that could make him one of the highest paid players in the English Premiership.
According to the Afrikaans weekly, the scrumhalf has been offered a three-year contract, worth R21m, with talks between Sale, the player's representatives and the Lions said to have been prompted by De Klerk’s omission from the latest Springbok training camp.
Rudolf Straeuli, CEO of the Lions, wasn't happy when he heard the report, saying the time has come for player agents to be taken to task.
“Players have to realise that they have binding contracts and they have to honour them,” Straeuli told Netwerk24.
“We have an important match against the Stormers on Saturday and that is where our focus should be.”
Should De Klerk join Sale, he will not be eligible to play for the Springboks until at least 2019 due to SA Rugby’s 30-cap eligibility ruling for foreign-based players in the national team.
The 25-year-old currently boasts 11 Test caps.
Despite not picking him for the Stellenbosch training camp, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee recently hinted that the door is not shut on De Klerk to possibly feature in the three-Test series against France in June.
"The training camps should not be seen as a selected squad already. It's definitely not the 31-man squad that we will go with against the French," Coetzee said last week.
"It's having a look at players that you haven't had the opportunity of working with... a guy like Cobus Reinach. I need to see what it is that he brings and what makes him a Springbok."
Cobus Reinach, Shaun Venter and Jano Vermaak were the scrumhalves named in the recent Springbok training squad for Stellenbosch, while Rudy Paige was overseas with the Bulls.