WP Rugby CEO Paul Zacks says his union was not informed about the negotiations and subsequent deal between lock Eben Etzebeth and Toulon.
Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal confirmed on Thursday that a deal had been struck between the player and club after a successful negotiation process in Paris during the Springboks’ end-of-year tour.
Etzebeth is contracted by WP Rugby and SA Rugby until the end of the 2019 season, which means both governing bodies should have been informed about and included in the negotiation discussions.
‘We are going to be writing a letter to SA Rugby because at the end of the day it’s a tripartite agreement and SA Rugby and Western Province are parties as well as the player to that contract,’ Zacks said at a media briefing at Newlands on Friday.
‘The fact is that there are contractual commitments in place with the individuals, and I suppose the disappointing part is that protocol wasn’t followed. But I’m not sure it’s the player’s fault, to be honest,’ he added.
‘In terms of the Springboks and a lot of the players going forward, I think we all know that there is always a lot of movement of players post a World Cup to greener pastures, so to speak.
‘That is not unexpected, I think it’s just the way we manage the communication is key and following protocol and having respect for the parties.’
The dispute is similar to that of Franco Mostert’s move to Gloucester, with the Lions also fighting the legality of their former player’s contract with the English club.
Zacks confirmed that he had received a phone call from his Lions counterpart Rudolf Straeuli, who threw his support behind WP’s plan to challenge Etzebeth’s Toulon deal.
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