JOHANNESBURG – Star Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies appears to be on the market – but he’s not likely to be bagged by any Irish team.
The 27-year-old Lions star is believed to have been on the shopping list of Ulster in Northern Ireland, but because Jantjies doesn’t qualify to play for Ireland, the Ireland Rugby Football Union are likely to block the approach.
According to reports out of the UK and Ireland on Tuesday, the IRFU have the final decision on player recruitment. Ulster have been shopping for a replacement for No 10 Paddy Jackson, whose contract was cancelled after recently being cleared of rape.
Ulster were once coached by former Springbok assistant Alan Solomons and most recently had Ruan Pienaar on their books. Former Lions lock Franco van der Merwe also turned out for the Belfast-based club at one time.
Current South Africans on their books include props Wiehann Herbst and Schalk van der Merwe, flanks Jean Deysel and Marcell Coetzee and fullback Louis Ludik.
Jantjies though would appear to be on the market, which isn’t good news for the Lions. Already they have lost Jaco Kriel to former coach Johan Ackermann’s Gloucester in England, while it is understood a few other Lions players are being sought by European clubs.
Here one thinks of lock Franco Mostert, prop Ruan Dreyer, centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg, who’s already had a stint with the Sale Sharks, and centre Lionel Mapoe – all Springboks who are in high demand overseas.