WP Rugby reportedly offered contracts to Schalk Brits and Corné Fourie despite being unable to pay both players’ salaries.
According to Rapport newspaper, the miscommunication between WP director of rugby Gert Smal and CEO Paul Zacks led to Smal offering Fourie, who was targeted by the Stormers coaches, a contract to play in Cape Town. Zacks, on the other hand, negotiated with Brits, who proceeded to sign an official contract.
When it came to light that two hookers had been lured to WP, Zacks wanted to keep Brits and attempted to stop Fourie’s move to the Stormers. When Fourie’s agent refused to back out of the deal, WP’s financial committee intervened and made it clear to Zacks that there is only place for one of the two players on their books.
Brits was then advised to go to the Bulls after WP’s financial committee failed to approve his contract.
However, Zacks insists there is no correlation between them signing Fourie and dismissing Brits. He also denied that Brits actually signed a contract, saying the Springbok wouldn’t have got much game time at the Stormers.
‘Corné is joining the Stormers as a loosehead prop and not a hooker,’ he told Rapport. ‘We have three hookers and although I want to assist the Springboks and do something that is good for South African rugby, it’s a reality that Schalk would have been behind Bongi Mbonambi, Ramone Samuels and Scarra Ntubeni and would virtually not have played.’
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