The Start of SA Rugby's 'feeding frenzy'
NEWS: Midfielder Johnny Kotze and Super Rugby franchise the Bulls will not part ways just yet, his agency revealed.
The Afrikaans newspaper Rapport reported that Kotze has ended his contract with the Bulls due to SA rugby’s enforced salary cuts amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The newspaper also stated that Kotze is heading to Japan.
On Sunday, Kotze’s agency One Sport SA has nullified the claims, revealing that the 27-year-old has been pursued by various teams in Europe and Japan and despite being in negotiations with Japanese club the player accepted the Bulls’ contract extension even though it was ‘below his current market value.’
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One Sport SA released a lengthy statement, which read: “We would just like to clarify that this article is not completely accurate and set the record straight.
“Over the past two seasons, Johnny has started in most of the Bulls Super rugby matches at centre and has been on the radar of a couple of teams in Europe and Japan.
“During the 2019 World Cup, he joined Welsh side, Ospreys as a medical joker and performed really well. The last couple of months we received some interest from Japan and we notified the Japanese teams that we will have a look at options once the transfer window opens.
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“Then the Covid-19 pandemic broke out and we decided to rather take the current offer that the Bulls had put on the table for Johnny to secure his playing future until 2022. The offer was way below the current market value of Johnny but extreme times called for extreme measures.
“We wanted to consider a stint in Japan for the experience and the much bigger salaries but our hand were forced by the pandemic.
“MyPlayers then announced that all the players were going to receive a pay cut with the option to pursue overseas deals for a period of 21 days.
“Once again a Japanese club showed interest in Johnny and we are currently waiting for the agreement from Japan.
“If Johnny does decide to take the deal in Japan it would not be because of the salary cuts in South African rugby but rather that the Japanese team sees the true value of the player.
“We notified the Bulls that we are in discussions with a team in Japan and weighing up our options.
“We will only make a final decision about his future once we receive the agreement from Japan. Until then he is still fully committed to the Bulls,”