No thanks! That is the unequivocal message from the Free State Cheetahs to the agent trying to peddle enigmatic Springbok utility Earl Rose to them, in exchange for fellow Bok tourist Ashley Johnson.
Cheetahs backline coach Hawies Fourie confirmed to rugby365.com on Wednesday that they have declined the offer to obtain Rose’s services.
It was reported earlier that Rose could be heading for Bloemfontein, if an ambitious player swap between last year’s Currie Cup finalists and the Lions comes to fruition. The idea was that Rose join the Cheetahs and in exchange the Lions will get Johnson.
Fourie, while confirming that the approach was made, also revealed that in a subsequent move Rose was offered to the Cheetahs in exchange for flyhalf Louis Strydom.
And they also declined that offer.
“He [Rose] will definitely not join us,” Fourie told rugby365.com.
The Cheetahs backline mentor said the news of the Rose offer first surfaced three weeks ago and he then approached head coach Naka Drotské, who assured him that it is not going to happen. And this week, when the reported swap made headline news, Fourie again spoke to Drotské, who reiterated that he is not prepared to make the swap.
Fourie felt that Rose, who has fallen out of favour at the Lions and was axed from the Super 14 squad by Springbok backs coach Dick Muir, simply carry too much baggage to make him a viable acquisition.
“There is no doubt that Earl [Rose] is a player with substantial talent, but we will alienate a large portion of our fan base if we sign him,” Fourie said of a player who often hits the headlines for his erratic form and his failure to live up to his potential.
Golden Lions CEO Manie Reynecke also confirmed that they were approached by an agent with the suggestion of a player swap, but added that Rose remains on their books.
“We will be making a call on our players during the course of the Currie Cup, but Earl [Rose] is contracted to us till October,” Reynecke said, adding: “He is part of our Currie Cup group and training with the squad.”
By Jan de KoningTweet