Thu 31 May 2018 | 03:38

Lions dispute Bok's transfer to Gloucester

Lions dispute Bok's transfer to Gloucester
Thu 31 May 2018 | 03:38
Lions dispute Bok's transfer to Gloucester
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TRANSFER NEWS: The Lions Rugby Company dispute claims that captain and Springbok lock Franco Mostert is heading to Gloucester.

The English Premiership club, Gloucester, announced on Wednesday that they had signed Mostert from the Lions.

The club already has several former Lions on their books – including coach Johan Ackermann, also with loose forwards Ruan Ackermann and Jaco Kriel.

However, a spokesperson for the @LionsRugbyCo told @rugby365com that the Mostert move is not a done deal.

“We are disputing the transfer on the grounds of irregular player movement,” the spokesperson said.

In the current Super Rugby campaign, Mostert has been an ever-present for the Johannesburg-based outfit – displaying his leadership skills in captaining the side, as well as his versatility, operating at both flank and in the more familiar second row.

A player whose signature has been highly sought-after across Europe, the 27-year-old second row was keen to renew his relationship with Johan Ackermann and was hoping to reunite with his former coach at the Cherry and Whites next season.

Often topping the tackle charts and line out catches, Mostert’s arrival will add even more world-class quality to the second row options for the Cherry and Whites, alongside Ed Slater, Tom Savage, Mariano Galarza and the recently announced new signing Gerbrandt Grobler.

Mostert began his career with the Bulls in Pretoria, before switching to Johannesburg with the Lions, making over 50 appearances for the Ellis Park team to date, including captaining the team for much of the current Super Rugby campaign and playing a key part in the franchise’s improvements in recent seasons.

Mostert also represented the Ricoh Black Rams in the Japanese Top League, before he returned to Super Rugby with the Lions.

Mostert is quoted as saying he is “excited” for a new chapter in his career, for him and his young family, and is looking forward to the tests in Cherry and White.

“I’m excited about this move, because it’s a new chapter in our lives,” he is quoted on the Gloucester website.

“I’m excited to learn about the English league, and also the values of my new team, and the things I’ve heard from other players are very positive. I hope to bring a new energy to the team.

“I am beyond excited to link up with Coach Akkies [Johan Ackermann] again, we have come a long way together, it wasn’t always the easy way but that is why I have so much respect for him as a coach and as a role model. He has had a big influence on my life in more ways than one.

“I am always excited and ready for new adventures, and it is nice to have a new challenge and I like a challenge, as it pushes me to be the best and keeps me driven.”

It is not the first time the Lions had to fend off attempts to lure the lock away from Ellis Park.

French Top 14 side Lyon also announced that they signed Mostert from 1 November 2016.

However, the Lions beat off that attempt to lure him away, by agreeing that he could play for the Ricoh Black Rams during the off-season.

@rugby365com

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Lions Dispute Bok's Transfer To Gloucester | Rugby365