Bulls look to secure Habana before WP

Springbok wing Bryan Habana looks set to sit down with Blue Bulls coach Frans Ludeke and the commercial manager of the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd Ian Schwartz late on Tuesday in order to discuss his future with the Blue Bulls after overtures from Western Province Rugby which led to discussions with them on Monday.


What has been made clear by the Blue Bulls Company (BBC), however, is the Bulls, much as they cherish the class and quality of Habana, will not contemplate a ridiculous offer that distorts the payment structure of the company or of other South African unions.


Western Province Rugby has not made an offer yet, but Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus has admitted they want his services. Habana and his father/agent Bernie, had discussions with WP on Monday and his “potential role”, according to Erasmus as quoted in Sport24, was discussed with the winger.


No figures were discussed. It seems WP and the Stormers, after languishing at the centre or bottoms of Currie Cup and Super Rugby logs for some time, have decided money must fix their woes.


They acquired the services of Cheetahs flyhalf Willem de Waal for last season, and also those of former Golden Lions lock Anton van Zyl and former All Blacks lock Chris Jack. Stormers coach Erasmus is another high level acquisition.


“The next step is to make an offer. I suppose our chances will be as good as that of the other provinces,” said Erasmus according to Sport24.


“Bryan will be an asset to any team. He is the best wing in the world and we need a world class outside back to be competitive in the Super14.


“He is a current Springbok and will be able to help a young guy like JJ Engelbrecht. We don’t have much depth at wing and Bryan will complete the picture really nicely.


“Of course, we have no guarantee that he will be coming,” said Erasmus. Western Province are still challenging the fact that Jaque Fourie has a binding contract with the Golden Lions.


They are desperate for a quality centre after the pending departure for Munster of their Stormers captain Jean de Villiers.


The Bulls’ Springbok centre Wynand Olivier has decided to stay in Pretoria for substantially less money than offered him by WP. Schwartz said the Bulls would love to keep Habana, but they will not contemplate a ridiculous offer.


“Bryan’s contract expires at the end of the year and any province or club is within its rights to speak to him,” said Schwartz.

 

“First prize for us is to keep him because we consider him the best in the world.

“I don’t know what WP are offering, but we can only work within the financial structures. It’s a fair structure that applies to all players. “If we make extravagant offers, it will damage the game.”


The young Free State centre, Lionel Cronje, is also in the WP’s sights, Erasmus admitted.

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