Currie Cup latest (Thurs) brings you the news from the Currie Cup.

Smit snubs Lions

John Smit has committed to the Sharks after turning down a lucrative offer from the Lions.

Smith has re-signed for the coastal union and will play for them in the 2011 Super Rugby competition. Insiders say Smit was offered a large sum to join the Lions, but turned the offer down.

The Bok captain is currently recovering from an operation and will not feature in the Currie Cup play-offs or South Africa’s Grand Slam Tour.

Van Heerden lends Lions bite

Former Bok flanker Wikus van Heerden will start against the Sharks.

Josh Strauss moves to No 8 to accommodate Van Heerden while Warren Whiteley falls out of the match 22.

Lions – 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Waylon Murray, 12 Doppies La Grange, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Joshua Strauss, 7 Wikus van Heerden, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der Merwe (c), 4 George Earle, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Subs: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wayne Swart, 18 Johan Snyman, 19 Trevor Hall, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Deon van Rensburg.

Sharks stay the same

John Plumtree has been afforded the luxury of maintaining the same 22 for the Sharks match against the Lions.

Without any injuries in the squad, Plumtree admitted it was the first time in a while he didn’t have to worry about making any changes for the contest at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Sharks – 15. Louis Ludik , 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Stefan Terblanche (c), 12. Andries Strauss, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Willem Alberts, 6. Keegan Daniel, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Eugene van Staden, 2. Craig Burden, 1. Patric Cilliers
Subs: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Jacques Botes , 20. Rory Kockott, 21. Andre Pretorius, 22. Riaan Swanepoel.

Mapoe worth a million plus

The Cheetahs have put a R1.5 million price tag on Lionel Mapoe.

Despite losing the legal battle to the Cheetahs, Mapoe still refuses to return to Bloemfontein and the Sharks are willing to pay a transfer fee.

However, the Cheetahs, who initially said they won’t accept any transfer fees for the wing, have demanded R1.5 million. This is R500 000 more than what the Bulls paid for Griquas speedster Bjorn Basson.

Bulls did it by the book

The Bulls are confident that they signed wing Bjorn Basson legally from Griquas.

This was according to High Performance manager Ian Schwartz after the Cheetahs announced they will take legal action against Griquas as they were not communicated in the transfer process. The Cheetahs, who pay a part of Basson’s wages, want to keep the wing.

Schwartz believes there should be no reason why the transfer should be stopped as they did it legally. The Bulls paid R1 million for Basson, who will join them on 1 November.

Eagles threaten to strike…again

The SWD Eagles’ players have threatened to boycott Friday’s clash against the Valke unless they are paid.

The players are angry as Saru has stopped all its funding to the union until the political infighting is resolved. Without Saru’s funding, the Eagles can’t afford to pay all their players.

The Eagles are second on the First Division log and this weekend’s match in George is supposed to be broadcast on TV.