Rugby 20.4.2017 02:58 pm

Jan Serfontein tries to stop mud-slinging over decision to leave

No hard feelings, says Jan Serfontein. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

No hard feelings, says Jan Serfontein. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Despite the drama over his rejection of a new deal, it makes no difference to Bulls coach Nollis Marais, who still has to pick up the pieces.

Springbok and Bulls centre Jan Serfontein on Thursday took to Twitter to stop the mud-slinging between the South African Rugby Union (Saru), the union and his representatives over his decision to move overseas.

The 24-year-old midfielder caused a stir earlier this week after it was confirmed that he rejected a new national contract.

Also read: Kings and Stokkies Hanekom experience a special Super Rugby irony

The new offer would’ve kept him in the country till 2019.

One report though alleged Serfontein decided to leave because Saru simply kicked its heels in providing him security.

Apparently, the 26-Test Bok wanted to know in November last year already where he figured in the national picture.

But Serfontein is adamant those claims are false and that he leaves because of “personal reasons”.

“I would like to state the facts,” he wrote on social media.

“I was happy and grateful with the generous contract extension offered by SA Rugby and the Bulls, made well in advance by both parties.

“But my decision to pursue playing opportunities abroad was personal. (It had) nothing to do with media claims about unhappiness or uncertainty.”

Currently, national contracts are a joint agreement between the player, Saru and the specific union.

In most cases, Saru pays the majority of the costs.

Regardless of Serfontein’s motives to leave, it still places most of the pressure on Bulls coach Nollis Marais.

He’s the guy who now has to fill the void and adapt his planning.

“I knew about it,” Marais said philosophically on Thursday.

“It’s difficult to keep guys like Jan in the country. We offered him a contract together with Saru, he wanted to go.”

The Bulls mentor also reiterated Serfontein’s reason for moving on without sounding all that convinced.

“I sat down with him,” said Marais.

“The thing is, Jan believes there are better opportunities, I don’t know, overseas. It’s the way it is.

“We can’t compete with foreign currency. Well, maybe we can but then we have to let 7 other players go.”

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