David Humphreys will not play for the Stormers in the inaugural Super 14.
Keo.co.za is credibly informed that approaches to the player have been undermined by the leakage to the press late last week.
Humphreys, still under contract to Ulster, was believed to be interested in the move depending on whether he could be released from his current contractual obligations.
“The problem is that he has a contract with Ulster, and there are one or two complications getting him out of that,” Stormers head coach Kobus van der Merwe told the Cape Times last week. “I’m positive. The talks are still alive. We’re hoping for the best. I think our chances of getting him are 50-50.”
Five days on it seems, however, that chance is now closer to 0. Ulster boss Michael Reid denied both “official or unofficial approaches” by the Stormers, thereby implicating that discussions had been purely with the player.
Revelation of the approach in the press is now feared as ruling out the slim chance that Humphreys could have negotiated even a temporary release from his contract at Ulster.
Humphreys, 34, is the second-choice Irish 10 behind Ronan O’Gara, and has performed capably in the Heineken Cup this season thus far.
His immense international experience was seen as invaluable in bringing through promising, but tactically unreliable, pivot Peter Grant.