Sadie leaving the Bulls?
Vodacom Bulls midfielder Johann Sadie may be on the verge of leaving the Pretoria union after asking to be released from his contract.
Sadie, whose move from the Stormers at the end of last season was seen as somewhat of a coup for the Bulls, has had an unlucky Super Rugby series, struggling with form and injury before being dropped out of the team’s match 22 altogether.
SuperSport.com can exclusively reveal that the Bulls management have given him their blessing to “look at other options” ahead of a possible release from his contract.
While it is unusual for a player to be released within the first year of his contract, Sadie has struggled in the Bulls pattern and has had problems fitting into the defensive line, making some crucial mistakes during the season which have cost tries.
With this he has struggled with his confidence, before picking up an injury which ended his Super Rugby season.
It is understood that he has asked for more game time, or to be allowed to pursue other options if the Bulls do not see him in their future plans.
Either way, Sadie is now basically back in the market, and is being offered to various provinces, although the big contract he signed with the Bulls -- rumoured to be R1.4-million per season -- may be out of the price range for some provinces unless Sadie decides to take a price cut.
The midfielder has fallen out of favour, and has watched his roommate and fellow former Stormer JJ Engelbrecht arrive with him at Loftus, before leapfrogging him and cementing a regular starting position, as well as impressing Bok coach Heyneke Meyer enough to earn a call-up to the Bok squad for the recent test against England.
While Engelbrecht didn’t start a test match, it is only a matter of time before he dons the Green and Gold, something many would have expected Sadie to do by now.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke confirmed that there had been a discussion on Sadie’s future.
“We are very aware of Johan’s situation and his future and he is concerned that he isn’t getting the playing opportunities he needs because of injuries. He wants to get onto the field to establish himself but is worried he can’t at the moment,” Ludeke told SuperSport.com.
“We will always look at a player's situation and take it to heart. We will always consult with the player and take the best decision for his career going forward. We have given him the green light to look at other options to see if he can get better playing opportunities at other provinces.”
Sadie has been mum on his future, while his agent Hilton Houghton confirmed there were discussions going on, but declined to comment at this stage.
Other than Engelbrecht, the Bulls sit with several top centres at the moment, including Francois Venter, who is on the bench this weekend in the Super Rugby qualifier, and SA under-20 stars Jan Serfontein and William Small-Smith.