Gelant departure a worrying sign for Bulls
Sibusiso Mjikeliso - Sport24
With injuries seemingly behind him, and still only 25, Warrick Gelant was poised to be one of the centrepieces of Jake White’s Bulls renaissance but the fullback opted to move to their cross-country rivals, the Stormers.
Gelant walking out on his Bulls contract that was due to expire in July, outside SA Rugby’s prescribed 21-day "transfer window", meant that he wasn’t completely sold on White’s plans for the future of the franchise and the union.
Perhaps having an accomplished and experienced fullback such as Gio Aplon as one of the first signings in the new regime twisted Gelant’s mind, but he would have backed himself to retain his jersey had he stayed in Pretoria.
Instead Gelant opted to move to Cape Town where there was an obvious vacancy in his position following Dillyn Leyds’ departure to western French seaside city La Rochelle.
It meant that COVID-19 impact or no COVID-19 impact, Gelant saw his future outside of Pretoria and he was listening to offers even from the Lions – and highly likely from overseas clubs as well.
His decision was made outside the period where, according to the Industry Strategic Plan, players could simply walk out of their contracts and take up other offers without the parent union being able to compete or counter.
Outside these realms, the Bulls were able to compete with the Stormers for Gelant’s signature and he would have gotten all sorts of reassurances from the new man in charge.
The decision suggests careful, clever and calculated decision-making on Gelant’s part. He didn’t want to be harried by the transfer deadline day drama. Knowing that his contract was expiring in a couple of months anyway, why not sit down and calmly consider all options?