Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann says they would only consider possible contract negotiations with flanker Jaco Kriel when the ‘time is right’.
Kriel has been strongly linked with a move to Gloucester recently, but on Monday, his sports management agency refuted the reports, while also reiterating that he is committed to the Lions for Super Rugby in 2018.
According to GloucestershireLive, Ackermann confirmed that while the English club might be interested in acquiring the services of Kriel, they would follow due process.
‘I’ve got a good relationship with Jaco and he’s a quality player and I think a lot of people would be interested in Jaco but obviously it’s up to him as a person and also his agent come the time that it is possible to speak to him.
‘We’ll respect the Lions, I’ve got a good relationship with them. There are times to talk to players and not to talk to players.
‘Obviously I would like it, it would be nice but again like I said each individual’s different. Jaco has still got a contract with the Lions and we’ll honour that and once that time is right then it’s up to him as any individual to sit with the options on the table and then make a choice.’
Kriel has only played 11 Tests for the Boks, and therefore would not meet SA Rugby’s 30-cap eligibility ruling should he become an overseas-based player, which Ackermann acknowledged would obviously be another factor at play.
‘There’s a World Cup around the corner and if he comes to Gloucester or any other place outside South Africa he could penalise himself because he hasn’t reached that 30-cap mark.
‘Obviously it would be quite difficult as the reality then is that other players in the country would have played numerous Test caps, and be in the Springboks selection and play games that can count against you.’
Photo: Anne Laing