Confirmation of Siya Kolisi’s move to the Sharks is drawing closer, writes CRAIG LEWIS.
As reported on SARugbymag.co.za on Wednesday, it’s now just a matter of when – not if – Kolisi will make the move to the Durban-based side.
Kolisi’s representatives have been in positive and advanced discussions with the Sharks, after permission was granted to enter into talks with other teams after opting against an offer from WP.
The 29-year-old’s contract with Western Province ends on 31 October, and with his future career plans now clear, it’s understandable that the Sharks would be willing and wanting to welcome him to Durban as soon as possible.
Yet, Sharks CEO Eduard Coetzee was emphatic when speaking to this website on Wednesday, reiterating that there would no payment of a sizeable transfer fee – even if it required playing a waiting game, although that seems unlikely.
It’s expected that the local teams will be back in action as soon as March, with a new-look competition aiming to prepare the Stormers, Vodacom Bulls, Sharks and Stormers for entry into the Rainbow Cup.
It stands to reason that the Sharks would want to integrate Kolisi into the squad in time for the first foray into northern-hemisphere competition, and that remains first prize for the Durban-based franchise.
From WP Rugby’s perspective, though, it’s clear they were not of the view that their star captain – and most marketable player – should be released without a fee.
However, it may still not make much financial sense to keep Kolisi on their payroll for the next eight months, while fully knowing that his departure is now just a matter of time.
With all this in mind, it’s believed that Kolisi could soon be unveiled as the Sharks’ latest high-profile recruit.
The Springbok captain was always intrinsically linked to the interest initially shown in WP Rugby by prospective investors MVM Holdings.
After that deal failed to materialise, the American investors turned to the Sharks, with the consortium including president of Roc Nation Sports, Michael Yormark, as well as Kolisi’s long-time mentor and friend, Vincent Mai.