Vodacom Super 14

Time running out for Alberts

2010-02-10 22:59
Willem Alberts (Gallo Images)
Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – Time is running out for the Sharks to have Willem Alberts available in time for the start of the Super 14 this weekend.

The No 8 will only be included in the Sharks’ 22-man squad for Saturday’s match against the Chiefs if a court rules in favour of him and Louis Ludik being allowed to play in the Super 14.

Judicial officer Koos Basson said that he could not rule in the matter under the South African Rugby Union’s (SARU) regulations. He was appointed to head a disciplinary committee after SARU received a complaint from the Lions in the wake of Alberts turning out for the Sharks in a pre-season game.

The complaint also included Ludik, who is injured but already started training with the Sharks.

Basson’s ruling was that SARU could not rule over player contracts – something the wording of the Golden Lions Rugby Union’s (GLRU) complaint would have demanded them to do.

The GLRU maintain they have contracts with the players and that the two players are not allowed to play for the Sharks until they have issued clearance certificates.

The Sharks believe the players’ contracts with the GLRU are invalid.

Meanwhile, the Sharks have said through chief executive Brian van Zyl that they now have no other option than to ask the court for a ruling.

“It is the second time that SA Rugby have been unable to rule on whether Alberts and Ludik may play in the Super 14,” said Van Zyl.

“On the first occasion SA Rugby’s legal manager (Christo Ferreira) refused to give a ruling on what he called a contractual dispute between the Sharks and the GLRU.”

Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards told Christo Buchner on Wednesday that Alberts will only be picked if the court rules in the Sharks’ favour.

“Willem will then definitely be in the 22-man squad for Saturday. It’s a pity that things worked out this way and the player is being disadvantaged,” he said.

Manie Reyneke said that he felt for the players and wonders why the Sharks did not want to go down the path of arbitration.

He said the GLRU are ready to go to court and there will be a fresh complaint to SARU if the players represent the Sharks as players are not permitted to play without clearance certificates.

“I will do anything to keep players that were part of our Super 14 planning,” said Reyneke


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