Stormers grab Lion Boks
The Stormers will hit the jackpot and benefit the most from the Lions' exit from Vodacom Super Rugby next year, snapping up at least three players – two of whom are Springboks.
Lions acting CEO Ruben Moggee will announce the future plans of some of his players in a special press conference on Wednesday morning, but supersport.com can reveal that the Stormers have already signed Springbok tighthead prop Pat Cilliers and promising flanker Michael Rhodes.
The duo will be released from their contracts and allowed to join the Stormers on a permanent basis, while the Cape side are also likely to get Bok flyhalf Elton Jantjies for next year’s campaign on a loan agreement.
While Jantjies’ agent James Adams claims nothing has been signed, and that Jantjies will only put pen to paper next week, it is understood that the flyhalf has verbally agreed to a loan agreement with the Stormers, which will see him return to the Lions at the end of the Super Rugby tournament.
Small details, such as what happens should the Stormers face the Lions in the set promotion-relegation match, are now all that need to be ironed out before the deal is concluded.
The same goes for new Bok Lionel Mapoe, who has apparently agreed to terms with the Bulls to play for them in Super Rugby next year on a similar loan agreement. Adams said nothing had been finalised yet.
However, the Lions have given both permission, and if it isn’t signed yet, it is simply a matter of agreeing to terms with the respective unions.
Lock Franco van der Merwe is moving to the Sharks, also on a loan agreement but the details of Jaco Taute’s future are still unknown.
Taute’s agent Eduard Kelder told supersport.com his client was yet to make up his mind, and decide where he would play next year. Taute is only likely to decide after this weekend’s Springbok test against the All Blacks as he wants to concentrate on the game, but it is known he will either go to the Sharks or Western Province.
The Lions are also set to announce a group of players who have re-signed with the union to stay with them next year ahead of their hopeful re-entry into Super Rugby in 2014.
On the positive side, this week’s news that Bulls flanker Warwick Tecklenburg has signed with the union is likely to be followed up with the announcement that the Lions have signed promising Blue Bulls and former SA under-20 lock Franco Mostert after he was given permission by the Bulls to look elsewhere.