Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis turned down an offer from the Sharks and Saru that would have made them the best paid players in South Africa.
Sharks CEO John Smit told The Mercury rugby writer Mike Greenaway that he had put the deal together as a last resort to keep the brothers in Durban next season.
'We heard through the grapevine that there was discussion between the Du Plessis's and Montpellier a month before Jake [White] became the Montpellier coach, but I am not going to allege in the media that this was outside the [IRB-endorsed] window in which it should have taken place. We were prepared to increase our offer but we never had a response.
'We then offered them a new figure in March, knowing that we would only have them for about nine games of the Super Rugby season, and we were talking about another R1-million per player. That was also declined.
'Then the South African Rugby Union came to the party, offering a three-year-deal, and added financial value to the offer. The brothers did not accept. We then this week made a final offer that would take them to the highest salary scale in the country, but this has been declined.'
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