The Blue Bulls denied an apparent move by Chiliboy from the Bulls to the Lions.
Pieter Jordaan – Sport24
The Blue Bulls have quashed rumours that the man leading the Springboks against Leicester on Friday night, Chiliboy Ralepelle, is set to move to the Lions.
“Chili is contracted with us until 2011 and it’s a contract that was recently signed,” said Blue Bulls company business manager Ian Schwartz.
There have not been negotiations between the Bulls and Lions about Ralepelle’s services.
Schwartz said that the Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) had informally enquired about Ralepelle’s availability.
“They only asked whether he would be interested. The Lions and Manie Reyneke (GLRU chief executive) will never follow the unethical route of luring a player, especially after what happened at the Lions recently,” said Schwartz.
“The two unions are very close to one another. In fact, Manie will phone me immediately if one of our players are discussed.”
Schwartz said that the Bulls have a healthy relationship with Ralepelle.
“He is in demand at other unions, but Chili is happy here.”
The return of Gary Botha from European club rugby for the 2010 season means that Ralepelle may well only be a substitute in the Bulls team next year, even if Derick Kuün moves back to flank from hooker.
Ralepelle has been struggling for a few seasons to make the Bulls’ starting line-up. Even so, he is regularly part of the Springbok squad.
It has been reported that Ralepelle’s legal representatives wanted to try and get him out of his contract at the Bulls.
Injuries and Kuün’s good form has meant that Ralepelle has mainly been used in the closing stages of the Bulls’ games.
Botha, Kuün and Bandise Maku will all still be available for the Bulls next year.
Apart from Hans van Dyk, the Lions have young hookers such as Derek Harwood and Torrie Meyer to choose from.
Meanwhile the Lions have included several acquisitions in their Super 14 squad, including Jacques Lombaard (lock), Jonathan Mokuena (loose forward), Burton Francis (flyhalf), Marius Delport (centre), Deon van Rensburg (centre) and Tonderai Chavhanga (wing).