Agents spreading rumours

The Sharks have accused South African rugby agents of leaking false details regarding player negotiations.

According to last Sunday’s Rapport newspaper, Bakkies Botha (R2 million), Bryan Habana (R1.35 million) and Wynand Olivier (R950 000) had all been offered huge contracts to sign for the Sharks.

Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl denies that such amounts were offered.

“There are a few unscrupulous agents bandying the wrong figures around and sowing seeds of discontent in the market,” he told Sunday Times writer Simnikiwe Xabanisa. “They are trying to play off one province or franchise against another. But sanity will prevail — we can’t keep on paying ad infinitum.”

Player agent Craig Livingstone, of Prosport International, agreed with Van Zyl about over-inflated deals.

“The amounts are incorrect, which is bad for the market because the players’ expectations are that they should be earning that — but it’s based on rumours. However, Bulls players have been underpaid. What you’re finding now is that with the likes of Habana, the talk and rumours have made the Bulls realise they must be competitive. This has moved them inline with the market,” he said.

The three players recently re-signed contracts with the Bulls.