Springbok wing Makazole Mapimpi has expressed his gratitude towards the Sharks for allowing him to take up a stint in Japan from September 2020 until April 2021.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that Mapimpi had been granted permission to join NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan later this year after he signed a long-term contract extension with the Sharks until 2023.
Speaking to Sport24, Mapimpi said Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee played a pivotal role in how his contract negotiations worked out.
‘Ed and I came to a good agreement. The original Japanese offer was for one year but I couldn’t just leave for a year without knowing what’s going to happen afterwards,’ Mapimpi said.
‘I’m not saying I don’t trust myself to perform or find a new home, but I can’t leave a place where I was well taken care of just because I see bigger offers elsewhere.
‘I had to sit down and talk with the relevant people and they gave me a chance to quickly go over there and make a little money for myself. I broke through pretty late into the system – I only started playing [Vodacom] Super Rugby at 27 in 2017. This is a chance for me to boost my income potential in a short space of time, considering my age as well.
‘It’s a good opportunity for me. I am very happy with how things moved and the opportunity the Sharks gave me to go and experience rugby elsewhere and to experience the Japanese rugby culture.’
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