Sibusiso Mjikeliso – Sport24
Where there’s smoke there’s fire and right now all the smoke is coming from the direction of Loftus where the Bulls are rumoured to be close to signing Cheetahs locks Sintu Manjezi, Walt Steenkamp and possibly bringing Jason Jenkins back.
Information coming from sources close to the contract negotiations that have been ongoing since the beginning of the 21-day “transfer window” have mentioned those three forwards as some of the players joining director of rugby Jake White in Pretoria.
Moreover, the Bulls are set to announce the return of prodigal son Arno Botha, 28, who will leave Munster after two years playing in the UK. The former Junior Springbok captain expressed his desire to re-enter the international fold to add to his paltry two Springbok caps, which he earned under then Bok coach Heyneke Meyer.
Manjezi, 25, has had a storming season for the Cheetahs and has blossomed since leaving the Southern Kings four years ago to try his luck at Griquas, where he impressed and earned a place in the Cheetahs PRO 14 side.
The almost 2m tall former St. Andrew’s College (Grahamstown) pupil has the build, physicality and lineout expertise that White relishes in second rowers and is set to be at the centre of the Bok coach’s rebuild at the Bulls.
Sport24 has been reliably informed that openside flanker Andisa Ntsila has left the Sharks and will join the Cheetahs. Ntsila was released by the Kings last year before going on trial and eventually signing with the Durban union.
Sport24, the Stormers could lose bright star Cobus Wiese to English club Sale Sharks after asking to be released from his contract immediately. The good news for the Capetonians is that they clung onto World Rugby player-of-the-year Pieter-Steph du Toit, who has decided to stay put.
According to SA Rugby’s Industry Strategic Plan, domestic players were given 21 days to opt out of their contracts and accept offers elsewhere or face up to 43% pay deductions as a means to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Players have until midnight tonight to walk out on their contracts, while their parent unions or franchises are restricted from making counter offers.
This is a developing story …