It is “unlikely” that Western Province Rugby would be able to match the substantial offer Springbok prop Brian Mujati has from English Premiership club Northampton Saints.
This is the view of Mujati’s agent, Jason Smith, who told rugby365.com that the main motivating factors are “financial” and the fact that Mujati’s wife is English.
Smith confirmed that the Zimbabwean-born front row forward, who turns 25 in September this year, has signed a two-year deal with the Saints.
Asked if there has been a counter offer from WP Rugby yet, Smit offered a terse “no”, but added that they do have the right to match the offer.
However, the agent wasn’t very optimistic about an offer forthcoming from Newlands.
“I don’t think they will [make a counter offer],” Smith said, adding: “It is quite a substantial amount [in Pound Stirling] and it would be very difficult to match that in [South African] Rands.”
Mujati, who played in 12 Tests last year, currently doesn’t have a Springbok contract and Smith said they have not chatted to Bok coach Peter de Villiers about Mujati’s Bok prospects.
“I have got no interest in talking to Peter de Villiers,” Smith told rugby365, adding that the prop’s contractual obligations to WP and the Stormers are till the end of October.
It has been reported that Mujati has realised that he is out of favour at Bok level at the moment.
After being part of the squad and starting in two of the 12 Tests last year, coming on as replacement in 10 others, he was overlooked for Jannie du Plessis in the final Test of the year-end tour against England at Twickenham.
He has also not had a good Super 14 campaign.
He has struggled with concussion and only made his comeback to the Stormers side last week, after sitting out three matches.
“He [Mujati] is expected in Northampton on November 1,” the agent said, adding that the only thing which can stop him from leaving South Africa is if WP Rugby reserve their right to match the Saints offer.
“As I said, it is unlikely [they'll match the offer," Smith concluded.
Rob Wagner, the MD of WP Rugby (Pty) Ltd, said they don't know yet exactly what the Northampton offer is.
"Rassie [Erasmus, the Director of Rugby] deals directly with the players,” Wagner told rugby365.
“Once he has something in place, he will come back to me and we will make a call. At this stage it is impossible to say if we’ll make a counter offer,” Wagner added.
Northampton declined to confirm or deny the report, saying they don’t react to media articles.
Reports also have it that Bok centre Gcobani Bobo may also leave Cape Town, as he has received a number of offers from overseas clubs.Tweet