The SA Rugby Union has appointed legal experts to investigate the alleged abuse of the loan system in dealings between the Free State Cheetahs and the Griffons.
Justice Lex Mpati had appointed the firm Dekker Govender of Durban as the judicial officer to handle the matter, Saru said in a statement on Thursday. “They will inform Saru of their decision on Friday.”
The decision is the result of a complaint by the SWD Rugby Union about Hennie Daniller playing for the Cheetahs as well as the Griffons last weekend.
Daniller, Jandré Blom, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Hendrik Meyer and Ashley Johnson have been moving between the two unions during the season.
SA Rugby said in the statement that the investigation would be about Daniller, Blom and Potgieter.
The Cheetahs have meanwhile produced correspondence between them and Christo Ferreira, SA Rugby’s manager of legal affairs. The correspondence is said to prove that the union was given permission to select players who had been loaned to the Griffons earlier.
However, SWD president Stag Cronjé does not believe this is enough to get the Cheetahs off the hook.
“I do not believe this is exoneration. If the rule was interpreted incorrectly, it was the official’s mistake,” Cronjé said.
Cronjé is now waiting to hear what the lawyers decide but he is willing to take the matter further. “There is too much at stake for Western Province and us to merely drop it,” he said.
Theuns Roodman, chief executive of the WP Rugby Union, also confirmed on Thursday that his union had lodged an official complaint with Saru.
WP’s complaint refers to all five players who turned out for both unions during the season. “We feel this is contrary to the spirit of the game and steps should be taken,” Roodman said.
“These movements are highly irregular and they cannot be justified.”
Cronjé wants to see the Griffons lose the league points they earned by beating the Eagles 26-19 last weekend.
If it happens, the Eagles – and not the Griffons – will be playing for promotion to the Currie Cup first league.
Western Province will be interested to see what happens to the Cheetahs. If the Free Staters lose log points, it may benefit the Cape side in their efforts to reach the Currie Cup semifinals.
However, with the correspondence that the Cheetahs have produced it will be hard to prove that they deliberately contravened the rules, if there was indeed a contravention.Tweet