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Mostert linked with Stade Francais switch


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 25 Jun 2011 at 12:00
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Sharks lock Gerhard Mostert – one of the real heroes of their campaign over the last few weeks – has appeared on the French Top 14′s inbound transfer list for next season. People reading this list may well assume that the big second-rower has indeed committed to joining Stade Francais ahead of the new European season.

Before Sharks fans run off to find their nearest cliff or high-rise building, though, we need to look at the facts of this matter as I currently have them. I was tipped off to this development last weekend and have been working through my list of contacts to try and figure out what is actually happening. The obligatory email to the man at the Sharks who could actually give us the truth was, of course, not answered, but let me share what I have been able to ascertain so far.

The first fact is that Stade Francais have made Mostert an attractive offer. My information, though, is that he has yet to decide whether to accept this offer and will think about it and make a decision in the coming weeks. The inclusion of his name on the transfer list is, at this stage, completely premature, but those who follow the French scene will know that this is hardly uncommon behaviour. The guys up that way like to confirm signings in the press the moment an offer has been issued, regardless of whether the player has actually signed anything.

Fact number 2 is that with Steven Sykes committed to his Ireland move, the Sharks simply cannot afford to let Mostert leave. They know this and are prepared to make it worth his while to stay. Note also that both Sykes and Mostert are contracted to the Sharks until 31 October this year and would need an early release in order to head up North. Neither has yet been given this release and if the Sharks want to be petty about this, they can still prevent both players leaving until after the Currie Cup. That would, of course, be a short-sighted approach, because I feel the best result would be for them to convince Mostert to stay on for the next few years, rather than forcing him to stick around for a few months before losing him anyway.

Sykes is committed to going to Ireland and will leave no matter what, since he sees an international future in the slightly-lighter shade of green that he doesn’t see with the Springboks. Mostert, though, still has a very strong desire to represent the Springboks and with a dearth of quality options at tight lock on the local scene once the Bok incumbents leave after the World Cup, I feel that the big Sharks man might just shoot himself in the foot if he decides to leave now. That simply HAS to be a factor weighing on his mind.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to this move, though, is the perilous state of Stade Francais’ finances. The big Paris club is, to all intents and purposes, bankrupt and needs to come up with something like €6 Million before Tuesday, or risk being placed into administration and immediately relegated to the third division. This is the result of a potentially life-saving sponsorship deal from a Canadian charity turning out to be bogus. Whatever the case, Mostert may well find that if he does go to France now, he could end up playing bargain basement rugby for a bankrupt club that is unable to actually pay the fantastic salary it offered him.

All-in-all, this one is FAR from cut-and-dried and I would urge Sharks fans to stay positive about this one. I feel that all the signs point to Mossie staying in Durban, hopefully for many years to come. Hands off, Frenchies! The big unit is going NOWHERE!



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