There are plenty of rumours doing the rounds today about Beast Mtawarira and the Lions. I’d like to share what I’ve heard from a number of sources. Bear in mind this is all rumour and conjecture at this stage and should NOT be considered factual as yet.
As you will all know, Beast recently signed a new 3-year deal with the Sharks. This was reported on the Sharks website on the eve of the Currie Cup semi-final against the Blue Bulls and was also covered here. We believe that Beast’s decision to stay, coupled with the fact that John Smit and Eugene van Staden offer adequate cover at loosehead, were factors contributing to the Sharks’ decision to release Pat Cilliers to the Lions. This is conjecture, but also common sense, if you think about it.
Now the development that has come to light – again, I must stress via rumour, but nonetheless a rumour that we have heard from at least 3 separate, credible sources – is that the Lions’ new owners met with Beast subsequent to the new Sharks deal being signed and offered him a frankly staggering amount of money, believed to be several million Rand a season. It is assumed that he was offered considerably more than what the Sharks are prepared to pay him, as agreed in the contract he recently signed.
It appears too that via a fortuitous coincidence (for the Lions, that is) Beast’s new contract may have a loophole (I stress “may”) and negotiations are currently underway between the player and the Sharks to ensure that Beast and his agent do not take any steps to explore a release from his contract, but rather opt to honour the commitment they have made. Our information is that these negotiations appear to be going well and that Beast is unlikely to pursue the matter further.
Just to point out that is is by no means certain that his contract is not valid – just that there appears to be an irregularity which may provide grounds for a court case to have it declared invalid. I’m sure that both Beast and the Lions are smart enough to know that any court action could impact on his ability to play in next year’s Super 15 and may also possibly jeopardise his selection for the World Cup as a result.
Again, I stress that these are merely rumours and there may be no basis in fact to any of it. The rest of the world is talking about this today, though, so I thought it only fair to share what I have heard about the situation.Tweet