habana deal all but done

BRYAN Habana's move from the Blue Bulls to Western Province is virtually complete, though the Bulls' Springbok winger has not yet put pen to paper to conclude the deal.

BRYAN Habana's move from the Blue Bulls to Western Province is virtually complete, though the Bulls' Springbok winger has not yet put pen to paper to conclude the deal.

There is, however, still the possibility of an out for the Blue Bulls Company (BBC) - if, of course, they want to retain Habana's services.

It has been learnt that a contractual clause could prevent his move to the south should the BBC opt to equal the offer from WP Rugby.

But BBC high performance manager Ian Schwartz declined to comment on the matter since contractual issues between the company and players are strictly confidential.

It nevertheless seems unlikely that the relevant clause will be invoked at this stage.

It is also extremely unlikely that the BBC will be prepared to match the WP offer, which is thought to be the highest yet for a South African player by a South African union.

Schwartz last week emphasised that the Bulls, much as they cherish the class and quality of Habana, will not contemplate a ridiculous offer that distorts the payment structure of the company or of other South African unions.

A payment structure that is fair to all its players will be adhered to by the BBC, which has a total of six rugby "superstars" contracted to them, Schwartz said.

Habana was also linked to French clubs Bayonne and Toulon, both of whom seemed to find the contractual demands of his agent father Bernie exorbitant.

Habana informed his Bulls teammates by cellphone SMS that he had decided to leave the union for the Cape.

The Bulls issued a short statement in regard to what has become a saga: "The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd received an e-mail from Mr Bernie Habana on Friday saying that Bryan Habana has not accepted the offer that was made to him by the Blue Bulls.

"The CEO of the Blue Bulls Company, Barend van Graan, received an e-mail from Mr Habana on Monday which said that Bryan Habana has received and accepted an offer from Western Province.

"Please note that at this stage we can't say anything more and we will keep you up to date with the latest developments." - Sapa

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