Jaco Kriel has played down an imminent move to England.
A weekend report stated that the dynamic Lions and Springboks flanker is a target for ambitious English club London Wasps.
Such a move switch would rule him out for national selection until at least 2019’s World Cup as he doesn’t fulfill the 30-cap requirement set by the South African Rugby Union (Saru) for Springboks playing overseas.
Kriel has only played eight Tests to date.
The 27-year-old is, anyway, not going anywhere soon.
“I’ve read that. Whoever wrote that is being rather premature,” said Kriel on Thursday after being named as Lions captain for the Super Rugby meeting with the Sunwolves at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“My dad actually frantically phoned me to ask what is going on because that’s the first he’d heard of something like that.”
Kriel plays for former Bulls coach Frans Ludeke’s Kubota Spears in Japan during the Currie Cup season and is still contracted to the Lions until the end of next year’s Super Rugby campaign.
However, he’s not exactly denying that his plans after that could involve a journey to Europe or the UK.
“I’ll obviously be out of contract by mid-2018 and I haven’t exactly lined up anything after that,” said Kriel.
“That’s something I’ll have to think about at a later stage but I’m still at the Lions. That’s about what I know about the report that was written about me.”
Wasps have recently invested heavily in South African players.
Springboks fullback Willie le Roux and former national flanker Ashley Johnson are already on the club’s books.
Another Springbok, Stormers stalwart Juan de Jongh is also joining them after Super Rugby.