Bob: ‘I’ve signed for no one’

Bob Skinstad, speaking to from London, confirmed that he had not signed for the Sharks or anyone else in South Africa. But the former Bok captain has not ruled out a return to rugby.

“The reports linking me to the Sharks are speculative and I have not signed with the Sharks. There have been approaches from various people in South Africa for me to play again after I played in the Corne Krige testimonial a couple of months ago, but I have not committed to anyone,” said Skinstad, who acknowledged he still had a lot of contact with South African rugby players.

“I have a healthy relationship with several of the Sharks players, as I do with players in other provinces. I have a good relationship with Dick Muir and Rudolf Straeuli and perhaps that has led to speculation, but reports that I have signed are not accurate.”

Skinstad would not rule out a return to rugby, but said there were many factors to consider.

“I am a rugby player and not a tennis player. It is not a case of what kind of difference I could make individually. Rugby is a team sport and for any player to contribute positively to any team the environment is crucial. Everyone has to be pulling in the same direction.

“I am flattered that so many supporters think I can make a difference to South African rugby and could potentially be an asset to any Super 14 or World Cup challenge, but if I was to return to South Africa there could be no half-baked measures. I’d have to give it a full go, but unlike when you’re in your early 20s, it is not a decision in which the only person being effected is yourself. I’ve got a wife to consider as well as the responsibility of parenthood. I am also very settled in work in London.

“It isn’t as simple as just packing my bags and returning to South Africa.”

When pressed on the issue of a potential return to South Africa, Skinstad did not shut the door.

“You never say never to anything. The question is whether I have already signed for the Sharks. The answer to that is that I have not signed to play anywhere next year.”