Springbok, Stormers and WP captain Siya Kolisi’s rumoured move to the Sharks could be the first real signal of player intent by the new majority shareholders in the KwaZulu-Natal union.
American consortium MVM Holdings completed an agreement to purchase a 51% stake in the Sharks this week.
The Sharks will hold 26% while SuperSport will control the remaining 23%.
MVM Holdings, headed by Amamzintoti-raised New York attorney Marco Masotti, had previously attempted to purchase a similar 51% controlling share in WP Rugby for a reported $6 million.
That deal fell flat.
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Masotti will have the support of Vincent Mai who hails from the Eastern Cape and enjoys a strong bond with Kolisi.
Kolisi and Mai, who both attended Grey High in Port Elizabeth, have been photographed together in New York on social media.
In addition, among Masotti’s partners is Michael Yormark, the president of Roc Nation Sports International, who count Kolisi as one of their clients (as well as Springbok sensation Cheslin Kolbe).
DEAL WOULD GIVE SHARKS SAME CLOUT AS THE BULLS ENJOY
The deal could give the Sharks similar financial muscle to that currently enjoyed by the Bulls who are backed by South African billionaires Patrice Motsepe and Johann Rupert.
Reports suggest MVM Holdings have every desire to turn the Durban-based franchise into one of the premier teams and brands not only in South African rugby, but on the world stage.
Nothing breeds success like winning and while the Sharks have done a fair bit of that over the years, honest, die-hard Sharks fans will still point to more disappointments than trophies.
WHETHER KOLISI IS AMONG THE ‘BEST’ IS UP FOR DEBATE
In order to win, the best players will need to be attracted by the Sharks brand and willing to sign on the dotted line.
Even if it means forgoing pounds, euros and yen to earn good old-fashioned South African rands.
Whether Siya Kolisi is among the ‘best’ players out there is for debate. Whether WP fans will see it as a massive loss and whether Sharks fans will be falling over themselves to see their latest recruit in action remains to be seen.
Kolisi, like so many South African players, is under contract at WP Rugby until after the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour in July.
Thereafter, it’s open season on a number of household names – many of which currently play their rugby in Cape.
KOLISI WILL BE 30 COME THE END OF THE LIONS’ TOUR
Kolisi, who will be 30 come the end of the British & Irish Lions’ tour (should it go ahead), will have a tough decision to make.
He has a young family and is settled in Cape Town.
But, as is so often the case with so many rugby and cricket players in particular, they needn’t reside in the province they play their rugby – or cricket.
Duane Vermeulen, Faf du Plessis and Dale Steyn – by way of just three examples – all play for the Bulls or Titans, but all reside in Cape Town.
Expect plenty of denials and ‘no comment’ responses until confirmation of where in the world Kolisi elects to continue his career.
Certainly interesting times in South African rugby.