A couple of decent journalists, among them Craig Lewis (a Sharksworld contributor) and Mike Greenaway have managed to get Brad Barritt’s side of the story.
Both scribes haves pieces currently up on www.iol.co.za and the applicable excerpts follow. Lewis writes:
The Sharks have confirmed Brad Barritt will be released at the end of the Currie Cup to take up a three year contract with English club Saracens.
The talented 21-year-old’s departure is a massive loss for the province and Springbok rugby but he has unequivocally stated that he is not “turning his back” on South Africa or the Sharks and is simply seeking to further his career.
“It’s nothing negative towards the Sharks or South Africa at all. It’s just a great opportunity for me to broaden my horizons,” he explained. “It’s a good time for me as a young guy to ply my trade there and be exposed to some fresh ideas.
He also quelled rumours that he made the decision in the hope that he might get an opportunity to play for England, as his family’s English ancestry would indeed help him to qualify.
“If the Springboks came knocking I would still be available. It’s just about having a new experience.”
Barritt also said there was no truth in a report that suggested he considered trying out for the Scotland team after school.
He explained that after matriculating from Kearsney in 2004, he was “approached by Bath University to study and play rugby there” and was also invited to an England U19 training camp, but that his intention was always to play for the Sharks.
Barritt is probably the youngest South African Super 14 player to head for Europe, but he is keen to point out that he could be back one day.
“I am not turning my back on South Africa,” he said.
“There is nothing negative about my leaving the Sharks and going to England. It is a case of a good opportunity arising, and feeling that it is the right thing for me at this time. I would still love to play for the Springboks one day.” But if England call him up?
“Well then I would have to make a choice, but any talk of me playing for England is way premature. That is not something I am thinking about right now,” he said.
I hope these quotes will set the record straight and maybe convince some of you guys to tone down your hysterical Barritt-bashing.Tweet