- The Lions aren’t planning on walking away from their loss of star flanker Vince Tshituka to the Sharks without some resistance.
- The franchise matched the Durbanites’ offer for him, entitling them to first use of his services, but are willing to negotiate for compensation.
- Tshituka and his agent, however, say they’ve ensured compliance, while the Sharks declined to comment.
The Lions are determined not to walk away empty-handed from the loss of Vince Tshituka, their star blindside flanker, to the Sharks.
The 23-year-old was earlier this week unveiled as one of the Durbanites’ eye-catching new signings for next season, joining his fellow team-mate and burly prop Carlu Sadie.
Yet Rudolf Straeuli, the Lions’ chief executive, is insistent on a meeting with his Sharks counterpart, Eduard Coetzee, to find an “amicable” solution to what they argue is a contractual impasse, especially since Tshituka’s current deal only expires in December.
An early release for next season’s pre-season period in July could prompt such a negotiation.
Sport24 understands that the Lions matched the Sharks’ offer, entitling them to first use of the loose forward’s services.
While the Ellis Park-based franchise isn’t necessarily intent on keeping Tshituka, they argue their equivalent deal warrants a form of compensation.
“It’s about finding an equitable solution that satisfies everyone,” said Tracy van Ginkel, the Lions’ head of contracting.
“We need to help each other as franchises in the current environment.”
However, Dane Galley, Tshituka’s agent, stated that he and the player ensured the agreement with the Sharks was legally compliant.
“We’re fully confident that we have a binding contract with the Sharks,” he told Sport24.
“I consulted our labour lawyer to ensure that we could proceed with the deal. Contracting regulations allow for players to consider all offers within the final 12 months of their existing contract, including the team they’re currently affiliated to.
“We also determined that a player is under no obligation to accept a matched or even increased contract offer from a current employer.”
The Lions will have to wait for their planned forum with Coetzee as he’s currently on a business trip in the USA.
He declined to comment on the specifics of the Sharks’ agreement with the Tshituka.
“We have a signed contract in place with him when his current agreement expires. I don’t wish to have a conversation on this matter at this time,” Coetzee told Sport24.
“We were given the assurance by the player and his representatives that he is entitled to join us.”