'He wouldn't be leaving with his reputation intact'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers head coach John Dobson is confident he will not get transfer shocks ahead of the close of SA Rugby’s escape clause.
The controversial 21-day clause (with a May 14 deadline) is part of a plan to deal with the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows players to tear up their contracts and head overseas.
The Stormers’ World Cup-winning Springboks are hot property at the moment with reports linking World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit to several clubs in Europe.
“I am confident that everyone is going to stay,” said Dobson.
“There are ethical and other concerns around it, but the Western Province view is that even if a player was to exercise that option, we would regard those contracts as still in place.
“It is a level above me but that is the Western Province view.
“My view is that the players are staying. I have not gotten any indication of anyone wanting to leave.
“The big concern is the night of the [Wednesday, May] 13th. It feels that rugby has gone into a football transfer deadline situation.”
Dobson added: “I talked to a lot of players and their agents. If a player was to ring us up on the 13th to say that he is leaving he would be making a massive breach of the rugby trust in a squad and what we are trying to build.
“He wouldn’t be leaving with his reputation intact if a guy was to take us right to the wire and not give us even a chance to have a conversation.
“I know we aren’t allowed to have a conversation around the money, but we could have another conversation around his future at the union and how we see it going forward.
“Rugby is meant to be a sport of fair play and it’s a fraternity and I think anybody feasting on the carcasses of other people trying to adapt to this virus is, to my mind, exploitation.”