Rugby: Sharks’ JP Pietersen not tempted by juicy offers from Bulls and Lions

2010-09-22 00:00

THE Blue Bulls’ attempts to sign JP Pietersen, the Sharks’ Springbok wing, have failed and the Currie Cup champions have contracted the prolific Griqua try-scorer Bjorn Basson instead.

Both the Bulls and the Lions have hung out juicy carrots to Pietersen, but the tall Sharks wing has yet to decide on his rugby future.

Pietersen’s contract in Durban ends at the end of the year, and while the Sharks are obviously keen to retain his services, it is unlikely that they can match the offers by the Lions and the Bulls.

According to the rugby grapevine, the talented Pietersen, in spite of patchy form, has been offered in excess of R3 million for a three-year contract.

The Bulls, seeking to boost the number of black players in their squad, instead switched their attention to Basson and yesterday finalised the deal.

According to News 24, Blue Bulls High Performance manager Ian Schwartz, with the help of his chequebook and a transfer fee, convinced Basson, Griquas and the Cheetahs to release the wing a year early from his contract.

Pietersen’s price was reportedly three times as much as Basson’s and the Bulls have now opted for the young Griqua wing instead.

Griquas CEO Arni van Rooyen has confirmed Basson’s move to Pretoria from November 1.

“Bjorn is a very good player and the Bulls were very professional in the manner that they approached us to negotiate with him.

“We don’t want to lose him, but rugby is a business and the decision was the best for all parties concerned.

“He is one of the best finishers in the country.”

The Blue Bulls, who have consistently overlooked John Mametsa and lost Bok wing Akona Ndungane to a broken leg, have been looking to replace Bryan Habana, signed by Western Province at the end of last year.

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