JOHANNESBURG – Former star Junior Springbok captain and Bulls centre Jan Serfontein is apparently heading to France.
The 24-year-old, who has played 26 Tests for the Boks, but missed out on selection to the 2015 World Cup in England, has reportedly been linked with French clubs Toulon and Montpellier after turning down a lucrative offer to remain in South Africa.
Serfontein is said to not be interested in extending a dual deal where the South African Rugby Union (Saru) and the Blue Bulls pay his salary.
Saru, however, stated on Wednesday they and the Bulls had offered the centre an improved package to stay in SA until 2019, but according to a SA Rugby spokesman, “he informed the parties concerned of his desire to explore playing opportunities abroad, and in view of this, Jan has therefore opted not to renew the national contract offered to him.”
Serfontein’s current contract expires at the end of the year, but the Bulls are apparently willing to release the player earlier than that if he requests an early exit.
Much depends on whether he forms part of Allister Coetzee’s Springbok squad for the June series against France. If he is not involved – and right now it seems there is no point in him being roped into action – he will leave for France immediately after the Bulls complete their Super Rugby season.
Serfontein captained the SA Under-20 team at the Junior World Championships in 2012 and was named IRB Junior Player of the Year.
He made his Springbok debut a year later at against Italy and while he has played some good rugby for the Bulls and the Boks, he has never quite fitted into the style employed by both those teams.
Meanwhile, Bulls coach Nollis Marais will on Thursday name his team to take on the Cheetahs in a much-anticipated derby to be played at Loftus on Saturday.