Sintu Manjezi is expected to join the Vodacom Bulls from 1 July, while from the same time Rosko Specman will link up with the Cheetahs in a deal where the two players will effectively swop franchises. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
For some time now, Manjezi’s future has been the subject of much debate, with the Cheetahs remaining adamant that he had agreed to a binding contract extension, while the talented forward and his representatives held a difference of opinion based around the fact the agreement was apparently never formally signed.
Manjezi himself was believed to be very keen on making the move from the Cheetahs to the Bulls, with the desire to play Vodacom Super Rugby said to be a considerable motivating factor.
The tug-of-war seemed to revolve around whether a verbal agreement would be binding in the matter, and it looked like it may end up in a lengthy battle that could possibly have required legal resolution.
As recently reported by City Press, if the legal wrangle could not be resolved during a process of negotiation and mediation by the parties, it would have then headed for arbitration.
In an attempt to resolve the matter, the Pretoria franchise also reportedly offered to pay the Cheetahs a transfer fee for the remainder of Manjezi’s current contract, which would free the former Kings and Griquas player to join them as early as 1 July.
On Thursday, though, SARugbymag.co.za reliably learned that a deal had been agreed to, which would allow for Manjezi to make his sought-after move to join Jake White’s Bulls from the beginning of next month.
In return, Specman will join the Cheetahs from the Bulls earlier than expected from 1 July as well, with the dynamic wing previously only in line to start his new contract at the Free State franchise from the beginning of November.
It means Specman could actually turn out for the Cheetahs in the near future if plans were finalised for the Bloemfontein-based side and the Kings to participate in the resumption of the PRO14, which was confirmed to have a restart target date of 22 August.
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