The Blue Bulls have apparently successfully negotiated the release of Bjorn Basson from his contract with Griquas and the Cheetahs Super Rugby franchise and the Currie Cup’s leading try scorer will join up with the Pretoria team on 1 November.
Basson, whose Griquas deal still has a year to run, will move to Loftus after the Bulls agreed a transfer fee with his union. This development means that the Bulls will no longer be interested in securing the services of Sharks winger JP Pietersen, whose contract expires at the end of October. The Lions and possibly also Western Province are understood to still be keen to lure Pietersen away from Durban; his salary demands were too high for the Bulls, though, who saw better value in Basson.
Speaking of transfer fees, it’s quite interesting that the Cheetahs (one of the parties who held at least some of Basson’s contract) have been prepared to accept one in this case, yet refuse to release winger Lionel Mapoe to the Sharks on a similar basis. While the Bulls will now no longer be after Mapoe either, the player is still very much in the Sharks plans and Cheetahs CEO Harold Verster will now look very silly indeed if he continues to ignore the Sharks’ offer of a fair transfer fee for the player, who refuses to return to Bloemfontein, citing “irreconcilable difference” with his former employer.
Mapoe’s beef with Verster is that he is being held to a contract signed as a naive junior, paying somewhere south of R100k a year, when his true market value is around 10 times that amount. The case will be heard in the Bloemfontein High Court on Thursday.Tweet