SA Rugby have offered Jaque Fourie a contract until after the 2011 World Cup in an attempt to keep him from following Jean de Villiers overseas.
Stephen Nell reports for sport24 that the Springbok centre’s agent, Peet van Zyl, on Wednesday confirmed the offer but was still waiting for the Golden Lions to come up with a revised provincial contract.
Fourie has a loophole in his contract with the Lions and has been made a substantial offer by French club Clermont. There are rumours that he has already accepted their offer.
“The Lions have already let Clermont know that they refuse to release Jaque. They want to come up with a counter offer and they are looking for additional financing to match what Jaque could earn at Clermont,” said Van Zyl.
With the British and Irish Lions series behind them, it is an attractive proposition for players to go and play overseas now and return before the World Cup.
With some corporate help, the Lions hope to make Fourie an offer that will keep him in the country.
It will not be the same amount of money that he could earn in France, but it would apparently make staying worth while for him.
“It will ultimately still be Jaque’s decision if he stays or leaves. SA Rugby have already offered him a contract until after 2011,” said Van Zyl.
Meanwhile, the acting managing director of SA Rugby, Andy Marinos, told Sport24 they had been prepared to offer De Villiers a similar contract to keep him in South Africa. “Jean was one of the players whom we were willing to offer a contract to.”
“But we respect his position. It is not ideal for South African rugby, but he wants to broaden his horizons.”
“The players who make this decision, always run the risk that someone else could take their place, but it could also happen that Jean returns as a better player to South Africa,” Marinos said.Tweet