Super Rugby’s Sharks have managed to keep hold of Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am despite the Springboks World Cup winners reportedly receiving lucrative offers to head to Japan and France respectively. 

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South African rugby had introduced an industry salary plan (ISP) to deal with the repercussions of Covid-19. The 21-day window allowed for players and staff to cancel their current contracts with immediate effect, opening the door for Mapimpi, the 29-year-old winger, and 26-year-old midfielder Am to potentially head north. 

However, both the try-scorer in last November’s final against England and the player who gave him the assist to score in Yokohama have decided to stay put in Durban. 

The Japanese, though, did manage to get hold of another Sharks player, convincing 25-year-old lock Tyler Paul to head to the Top League for next season.  

Speaking to sport24.co.za after the deadline for players moving had passed, Sharks CEO Ed Coetzee said: “It’s a tough decision to make.

“We’re very happy and I think it’s the fruit of the system and the way we treat our players. If the players were not happy, they would have left.”

The three-week window was a clause was agreed upon last month as part of SA Rugby’s efforts to cut costs in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

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