Saracens were believed to be close to signing Eben Etzebeth on a short term deal.
Last Monday rugby fans were shocked to read that Saracens were close to signing Eben Etzebeth on a short term contract.
The deal would have seen the South African second row in join the European Champions for two months following the Springboks’ November schedule against the Barbarians, England, Italy and Wales.
However, no sooner than Saracens fans began dreaming of a second row combination of Maro Itoje and Etzebeth, doubts over any potential deal began to filter through. Immediately after the news was initially reported, Gert Small, Director of Rugby at the Stormers, cast his reservations in the Daily Mail.
We need to hear what the expectations of Saracens and SA Rugby are. Players have a tough workload.
We need to be convinced that this is a good rugby decision for Eben, not just a financial decision. We don’t want our players injured.
The following day, BBC journalist Jean Smyth claimed that no deal bringing Etzebeth to England had been agreed, and that only ‘talks’ had so far been held.
Impeccable source tells me no contract or offer yet for Eben Etzebeth to Saracens, only ‘talks’.
— Jean Smyth (@JeanSmyth) October 11, 2016
Nevertheless, Saracens fans continued to hope that the 6ft 8in lock’s signing would be confirmed in the coming the days.
However any such dreams were shattered by the Mail on Sunday’s rugby correspondent Sam Peters, who quoted Mark McCall as saying the deal “is not going to happen” this afternoon.
@Saracens Mark McCall confirms talks with Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth have taken place but adds ‘it’s not going to happen’.
— Sam Peters (@Sam_sportsnews) October 12, 2016
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena
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