Kockott in Castres stand-off?

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 07:16
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Castres have dismissed claims that South African scrumhalf Rory Kockott has threatened not to return to France if they refuse to release him from his contract.

Castres have dismissed claims that South African scrumhalf Rory Kockott has threatened not to return to France if they refuse to release him from his contract.

According to various media outlets in France Kockott, who is on holiday in South Africa to attend his sister's wedding, reportedly wants to join Top 14 giants Racing Metro.

However, according to a statement on the Castres website the former Sharks and Golden Lions No.9 is contracted with Castres until 2014.

"Following the various newspaper articles referring to the situation of Rory Kockott, Castres Olympique wish to state that this player has a contract to remain with Castres for another year if the club qualifies for the [2013/14] European Cup [competition]," the club said.

"On the contrary, he [Kockott] will be free [to leave] if the club does not qualify for this [European Cup] competition."

The French outfit confirmed they have granted Kockott a week off to attend his sister's wedding in South Africa.

Castres said they are confident the player will "respect" his contractual obligations.

"Rory Kockott has never threatened not to resume his activities [at Castres], contrary to the report on the RMC Sport website," the club's statement said.

However, the RMC Sport website quoted Kockott as saying he was even considering resuming his career in South Africa in the coming weeks should the "deadlock" between him and the club continue.

According to the French website Kockott has expressed his desire to leave Castres in June.

However, he complained of a lack of dialogue with the leadership of the club, who are apparently "inflexible" about the clause in his contract that will keep him at Castres if they qualify for the European Cup.

Kockott suggested he would return to France as planned next week if Cartes agree to a release clause.

Castres travel to Grenoble for their Round 15 match in the Top 14 competition on Saturday - the only game Kockott will miss, according to the club.

Kockott has enjoyed an excellent season so far and is one of the top points scorers in the Top 14.

His decision to join Castres was influenced by the strong contingent of South African players at the club - which include Jannie Bornman, Michael Coetzee, Antonie Claassen and Pedrie Wannenburg.

However, some French reports have linked his desire to move to Racing Metro with the departure of Castres' coaching duo of Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers - who are departing for Racing at the end of the current season.

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