Stormers head coach John Dobson has addressed rumours around the future of World Cup-winning loose forward Siya Kolisi that have circulated in the media in recent weeks.

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Kolisi, one of the premier flankers in world rugby, is often the subject of transfer rumours, and while Dobson tried to pour water on the most recent rumours of a potential exit, he didn’t go as far as fully extinguishing them.

Media reports have suggested that Kolisi – whose affairs are being managed by the Roc Nation group – could be lured to the Sharks. He had been linked with a move to Saracens in 2019, but move north in the immediate future appears unlikely. Kolisi will presumably be eager to stay in South Africa, at least until the end of British and Irish Lions tour next summer.

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“There is a lot of rumour at the moment and there is a lot of smoke,” Dobson told media in SA this week. “There is so much smoke that you suspect there must be a fire. Nobody has told me officially that they are going anywhere yet.”

Dobson also suggested that Gallagher Premiership side Harlequins were targeting their forwards.

“I know that Harlequins are after a couple of our forwards. There was an article about Siya being in demand elsewhere in South Africa.

“‘Siya is our leader. I literally asked Siya (on Tuesday) if we need to have a chat and he said, “Let’s get through Friday”, which is the responsible and mature thing. I don’t think there is anything formal. There can be nothing formal until the contracting window starts. At this stage, I would think the Siya thing is just smoke.”

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There’s been a certain amount of upheaval behind the scenes at the Western Province, the union behind Super Rugby franchise, the Stormers. Marco V Masotti’s American consortium, MVM Holdings, has been in talks with the WPRFU over a partnership, but it has been rumoured that the consortium may now be interested in the rival Sharks. As a result it has been suggested that a number of the Stormers’ senior players are unwilling to negotiate contract extensions beyond next year’s Lions tour, because of the uncertainty over the MVM deal.

WPRFU President Zelt Marais was adamant that Kolisi will not depart Cape Town. “Siya Kolisi is going nowhere,” the WPRFU boss told Rugby 365 this week. “Western Province has invested heavily in Siya Kolisi – possibly more than any other player – over the years, since [his] Under-19 [days] and is committed to keeping Siya Kolisi at least until the 2027 World Cup.”

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