Sharks give two-fingered salute

Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl has refused to release four of their players for a two-month Bok camp starting in Johannesburg on Monday.

Saru this week announced that none of the 24 contracted Boks would be allowed to play Absa Currie Cup rugby and that several other Boks would be required to attend the training camp once a week.

This includes key Sharks players JP Pietersen, Ruan Pienaar, Butch James and Johann Muller.

“We won’t release them,” Van Zyl told Cape Argus rugby writer Dale Granger. “What annoys us is that SA Rugby are implying that the unions are now to blame. But the decision to withdraw the top 24 contracted players from the Currie Cup was not ours.

“SA Rugby made that call 15 months ago and after discussions we agreed to go with it. But then we went out and contracted other players to reinforce our squad for the Currie Cup. Now the goalposts are shifting once again,” he said.

According to Granger, the Bulls are also unhappy about having to release Chilliboy Ralepelle and Pierre Spies.

The Sharks face the Bulls in Durban on Saturday.