Sibusiso Mjikeliso – Sport24
Questions surround the future of fullback Warrick Gelant – nicknamed “The Bogeyman” – who could imminently ghost the Bulls and sign with Western Province and the Stormers.
The Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok’s contract with the Bulls is coming to an end in June, making him an unrestricted free agent, free to negotiate his next move outside the lapsed 21-day Industry Strategic Plan transfer deadline period SA Rugby introduced.
Gelant emerged as one of the transfer kingmakers over the weekend after getting linked with the Stormers. But the Lions joined the race for the talented No 15, especially after the Johannesburg franchise lost their bright young star Tyrone Green to English club Harlequins.
On Tuesday, Gelant’s representatives were still in heavy negotiations with the three Super Rugby franchises that covet his signature. His agent, Reghard van Dyk, said the player was close to making a decision.
It is understood that Gelant, 25, is part of new Bulls director of rugby Jake White’s future plans despite the signing of 37-year-old veteran Gio Aplon. But Sport24 received a tip off from a source close to the Bulls that the Knysna-born Gelant was headed to their rivals, the Stormers.
“He hasn’t signed yet,” said Van Dyk on Tuesday night.
“I’ve got a Facetime [conversation] with him tonight (Tuesday) and hopefully we will secure that deal. We’re still going to wait to see what the Lions are offering and then we will make a move.”
Gelant’s signature would be a massive coup for the Stormers, who recently lost Dillyn Leyds to French club La Rochelle.
It also means head coach John Dobson would not be pressured to move starlet Damian Willemse around in the backline and allow him to settle at flyhalf, where he is most comfortable, especially after pivot Jean-Luc du Plessis opted out of his contract.