Rugby Championship

Toulon's ultimatum to Bok duo

2014-09-17 10:17
Bryan Habana (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal has demanded that Springboks Bryan Habana and Bakkies Botha quit the  Rugby Championship and return for club duty in France.

Boudjellal has reacted to the European and French champions’ 28-24 home defeat to Stade Francais and a club injury crisis by saying he pays the wages of Habana, Botha and Argentina's Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and wants them playing for Toulon.

The three Test players are currently competing in the Rugby Championship, which is sanctioned by the International Rugby Board (IRB). Clubs have to release the players who are selected by their countries during the specified Test window.

However, according to the Wales Online website, Boudjellal will challenge that policy and demand clubs only be forced to release players if the IRB or individual unions foot the bill for those away on international duty.

Boudjellal has demanded that the trio all return to France by the end of the week or face the consequence of not being paid.

The law, at least as far as the IRB is concerned, is on the side of the players, as well as the Test teams that have selected them.

Boudjellal, however, has said he is willing to take the matter to court and feels that clubs like Toulon should be compensated during an IRB-sanctioned Test window.

He feels it's unfair that the players defend the colours of their country and are then paid rather comfortably by Toulon, insisting he is not there to fund South African and Argentine rugby.

“These players will return as we need them. If they do not and we receive no fee, they will not be paid by us because they will not be present in Toulon.”

The Springboks have two matches left in the Rugby Championship - against Australia in Cape Town (September 27) and New Zealand in Johannesburg (October 4).


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