An article in The Australian newspaper on Saturday has suggested that Sharks and Bok front row duo, Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis, may be eyeing a move to the Melbourne Rebels ahead of the 2011 Super 15.
The paper claims that the pair tried to negotiate a package deal with the Western Force some time ago, but were unable to seal the deal, due to Australia’s foreign player restrictions meaning that the team could never field both players (neither being eligible for Wallaby selection). Jannie’s desire to move to Australia to further his medical career would apparently be a strong motivating factor and since we know that playing together is a strong motivator for the brothers, Melbourne might make an ideal destination.
The Rebels have been given a special dispensation to field up to 10 foreign players next year, in the interests of assembling a competitive team quickly.
Now, it’s hardly news to anybody that the Dup brothers aren’t exactly loving their time in Durban. Their dream of forming a regular starting partnership for the Sharks (adnd I guess the Boks too) took somewhat of a nosedive when John Smit returned to Durban in 2008 and while the latter was used mainly off the bench at first, his elevation to squad captain this year seems to have been the last straw for Bismarck and his brother. Fact is, wherever Smit plays, be it hooker or tighthead, he’s going to be doing one of the brothers out of a starting spot.
If rumours are to be believed, the pair exhausted virtually every other option before resigning with the Sharks late last year. The Bulls were initially interested, but pulled out later – perhaps as a result of the notoriously tricky temperaments involved. The Australian article links the duo to the Lions as well, but we’ve been lead to believe that Dick Muir is not really keen on having the brothers in his squad either. Their reputation for being disruptive to team morale seems pretty far reaching – whether it’s true or not.
Sharks fans will be in two minds about this latest development. Based on current form, while I’m sure there aren’t too many who’s be sad to see Jannie move on, Bismarck would be a huge loss. The young man was simply immense against the Waratahs. If only there were some way to split the two without causing fallout of truly atomic proportions…Tweet