Lions

Jaque Fourie case reveals a new twist

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The contractual dispute between the Golden Lions Rugby Union and Springbok centre Jaque Fourie took a new twist after revelations by his employers that SA Rugby had deemed his contract to be valid.


If this were to be the case then arbitration would be a waste of time for Fourie as he will be forced to see out his contract with the Johannesburg- based union until the end of 2010 instead of playing for Western Province who are trying to sign him


Fourie’s agent Frikkie Erasmus however , has rejected the claims that SA Rugby had looked at the contract, and said the organisation had denied a similar request from him on the grounds that it was against their regulations so he will still pursue arbitration at the end of the month to resolve the matter.


Fourie is believed to have received a massive offer of R3,8m a year from Province in a desperate attempt by the union to replace Super 14 centres Jean de Villiers and Gcobani Bobo who have left to play in Europe.


The Lions have refused to Fourie from his contract, however, Erasmus has opted to pursue arbitration on the grounds that the player’s contract with the union is not valid.


“We will fight to the bitter end to keep Jaque here,” Lions president Kevin de Klerk told Business Day.


“We went as far as to speak to SA Rugby to look at the contract and they said the contract was valid. So I don’t know what they are going to achieve with arbitration.”


“I don’t know where they are getting that information from because SA Rugby said they couldn’t get involved as it was against their regulations.


De Klerk said that he had no doubt that if Fourie was forced to see out his contract with the team, he would continue to give his best on the field.


“I don’t see how a player of Jaque’s calibre could run on to the field and not give his best,” De Klerk said.


“Rugby is a professional sport and the players stand to lose if they do not perform.


“We still care about Jaque dearly and will continue to support him in every way possible. He grew up here and he belongs here.”

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