French put offer to Bismarck du Plessis

2013-03-15 00:00

THE Sharks are confident that the Boks’ Du Plessis brothers, hooker Bismarck and tighthead Jannie, will turn their backs on a lucrative French offer and will continue to play their rugby in Durban.

Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl told The Witness yesterday that he had seen reports that a French agent was lurking in Durban and was to meet with the Du Plessis brothers.

“Their contracts with the Sharks end at the end of July,” said Van Zyl, “but we are already in talks with them and we are confident of keeping them in Durban.”

Toulouse are reportedly desperate to sign the pair and Bismarck du Plessis told Eyewitness News Sport that he would meet a French agent this week to consider a number of offers.

Also muddying the waters is the question of Springbok contracts, and the SA Rugby Union and Springbok coaches have still to announce which players will be signed up for 2013.

A number of Springboks, among them Bryan Habana (Toulon), Morné Steyn (Stade Français) and Juandré Kruger (Racing Metro), have recently accepted massive offers to join French Top 14 clubs.

Bismarck was quoted as saying he would be would be happy to stay on in Durban if the Sharks made him an acceptable offer.

“There are a few clubs that are interested, but I’m very happy at the Sharks. I’ve first got to first speak to the Sharks as its home for me, and I love the Sharks,” he said.

Bismarck said the Sharks had indicated they were keen to extend their contracts.

“For me, personally, I’ve just got to get back playing rugby again.”

He is still some five weeks away from returning to action after undergoing major knee surgery.

Brother Jannie has a more immediate objective — anchoring the Sharks’ scrum against a confident Brumbies pack at King’s Park tomorrow night.

“The Brumbies have a very good scrum [including Wallaby front-rowers Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore] so it’s a massive challenge for us,” he said at a media gathering at King’s Park.

“The recipe is quite easy. If all eight guys buy in to the same plan, and all pull on the rope in the same direction, it becomes easier.

“We [the Sharks forwards] take pride in our scrummaging and it’s a privilege to play in a pack where the setpiece is so important.”

Du Plessis said he knew what was waiting for the Sharks tomorrow night.

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