Stormers coach John Dobson has looked to squash rumours that hooker Bongi Mbonambi is lining up a move to rival franchise the Bulls, following reports linking the World Cup winner with a return to his old side over the weekend. According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White wants to get Mbonambi back to the Pretorian team, which he left for the Stormers in 2014.
Mbonambi is believed to have re-signed with the Stormers following the May 14th deadline, where SA rugby players had an option to cancel their current contracts.
However, Rapport’s story suggests Mbonambi Stormers’ contract would allow him to leave at the end of the current season. He started his Super Rugby career at the Bulls before leaving in 2014 for the Stormers.
But Stormers coach Dobson has rubbished such claims, insisting the 29-year-old is going nowhere.
“On the Bongi Mbonambi story, I can once again state categorically that he has no ‘get out’ clause after Super Rugby in 2020 as reported,” Dobson told reporters via a video conference.
“He is contracted until 31 October 2021, but he could activate an escape clause after Super Rugby or the British & Irish Lions tour next year.
“I think it’s best I quote the player himself, and this is what he says today: ‘Just to set the record straight, I am committed to the Stormers until late 2021. The Bulls have made contact via my agent, but no decisions have been made.'”
Dobson added that he has been unhappy with what he called ‘inaccurate stories’ in South African media regarding some of his players.
“What’s been of concern to me is a couple of inaccurate stories, which have been unnecessarily disruptive on the group,” he continued.
“For example, Pieter-Steph going to Montpellier for 1 million Euros. I was intricately involved in the negotiations from start to finish and I can tell you categorically that that offer never existed from Montpellier.
“Similarly, we never made an offer for Sintu Manjezi, as was reported over the weekend. We made an initial enquiry, but we certainly never made an offer of any amount.
“We will always respect the transfer windows and when contracts are coming up for renewal and we value our good relationship with the Cheetahs and other unions.”
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