• Lions keen to keep Simelane

    Lions boss Rudolf Straeuli has responded to rumours that centre Wandisile Simelane is the subject of interest from French side Toulouse.

    According to a report in City Press, the Lions received an email this week from Toulouse requesting permission to speak to Simelane.

    The French giants are believed to be interested in signing an outside centre and the 22-year-old – who has regained his form in Super Rugby Unlocked – is one of the players on their transfer list.

    Simelane only recently signed a two-year contract extension with the Lions back in May, after being linked with moves to the Stormers and Sharks.

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    In a terse response to inquiries about the potential move, Lions CEO Straeuli outlined the franchise’s desire to keep one of their brightest young players.

    ‘Wandi has a two-year contract. He’s not going anywhere,’ Straeuli told City Press in a WhatsApp text.

    ‘I got an email, but he’s in our and the Boks’ long-term plans.’

    According to the report, a Lions insider claimed there is a clause in Simelane’s contract which states that if an offer comes in from an overseas club, then the Johannesburg franchise has to consider it.

    Simelane is certainly a player of national interest, with the Springboks having included him in an alignment camp while also calling him up for the Springbok Green vs Gold match.

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