Sharks running out of time

The Willem Alberts contract saga still hasn’t been resolved and the Sharks hope to take the matter to court on Friday.

The Lions lodged a complaint against the Sharks for fielding Alberts in the Tri-Series (and Louis Ludik for training with the squad), and the Saru judicial hearing was heard on Wednesday. Judicial officer Koos Basson ruled that the wording of the complaint required him to determine the validity of the players’ contracts with the Lions – a responsibility which falls outside the disciplinary regulations of Saru.

‘This is the second time that SA Rugby have failed to give a final ruling as to whether or not Alberts or Ludik can play in the 2010 Super 14,’ said Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl in a statement. ‘On the first occasion the Chairman of the National Judicial Committee of SA Rugby refused to adjudicate what he called a contractual dispute between the Sharks and the Golden Lions Rugby Union.’

Van Zyl said they had no other option but to get an urgent ruling from court – which they hope will take place on Friday – to see when the players could play.

Ludik is currently injured but with these latest developments it is highly unlikely Alberts will start against the Chiefs in Durban on Saturday.

Sharks coach John Plumtree was set to name his side on Thursday, but the court appearance could mean it is delayed until Friday.