Centre Johnny Kotze’s management agency has released a statement following a report that he is set to opt out of his contract with the Vodacom Bulls.
On Sunday, Afrikaans newspaper Rapport reported that Kotze has opted out of his contract with the Bulls as a result of the pay cuts set to be implemented amid the conoravirus pandemic and that he is headed to Japan.
But his agency One Sport SA provided clarity on the matter, saying Kotze had initially accepted the Bulls’ contract-extension offer even though it was below his value.
The statement also explains that Kotze is indeed still locked in negotiations with a Japanese club but until such a time a deal is reached, he remains committed to the Bulls.
Read the full statement below:
‘We would just like to clarify that this article is not completely accurate and set the record straight.
‘Over the past two seasons Johnny has started in most of the Bulls Super rugby matches at centre and has been on the radar of a couple of teams in Europe and Japan. During the 2019 World Cup he joined Welsh side Ospreys as a medical joker and performed really well. The last couple of months we received some interest from Japan and we notified the Japanese teams that we will have a look at options once the transfer window opens.
‘Then the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and we decided to rather take the current offer that the Bulls had put on the table for Johnny to secure his playing future until 2022. The offer was way below the current market value of Johnny but extreme times called for extreme measures.
‘We wanted to consider a stint in Japan for the experience and the much-bigger salaries but our hand were forced by the pandemic.
‘MyPlayers then announced that all the players were going to receive a pay cut with the option to pursue overseas deals for a period of 21 days.
‘Once again a Japanese club showed interest in Johnny and we are currently waiting for the agreement from Japan.
‘If Johnny does decide to take the deal in Japan it would not be because of the salary cuts in South African rugby but rather that the Japanese team sees the true value of the player.
‘We notified the Bulls that we are in discussions with a team in Japan and weighing up our options. We will only make a final decision about his future once we receive the agreement from Japan. Until then he is still fully committed to the Bulls.’
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