Oosthuizen to be a Shark or Lion?

Fri, 18 Oct 2013 09:47
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Will young Etienne Oosthuizen play for the Sharks or the Lions in Super Rugby next year?

Will young Etienne Oosthuizen play for the Sharks or the Lions in Super Rugby next year?

The 20-year-old Oosthuizen was officially released from the final year of his contract with the Brumbies.

The Brumbies revealed on Friday that they have granted the South African a release from the final year of his contract, after the lock made contact with the Canberra-based franchise's coaching staff from Johannesburg.

The utility forward, who can play lock or flank, has been in discussions with officials at Ellis Park, who are keen to lure him back to the Lions for their return to Super Rugby next year.

However, Oosthuizen is also a huge fan of the Sharks' new Director of Rugby, Jake White, who originally poached him from the Lions and lured him to Canberra.

Oosthuizen made three appearances for the Brumbies in Super Rugby 2013 as well as the historic win over the British and Irish Lions during their tour of Australia.

Brumbies forwards coach Laurie Fisher wished Oosthuizen the best of luck in the future.

"Etienne came to us with a request that he stay in South Africa, where his family is based, rather than return to the Brumbies," Fisher said.

"That is a situation that we could sympathise with and we were able to organise a release, effective immediately."

His departure from Canberra follows in the wake of White's much-publicised decision to turn his back on the Brumbies midway through a four-year contract - after the 2007 World Cup-winning former Springbok coach became disillusioned with Australian rugby.

White requested the release from his contract after he failed to be offered the Wallaby job.

"To have Jake decide that he wants to pursue his international coaching ambitions from South Africa at this late stage is disappointing," Brumbies Chief Executive Andrew Fagan said at the time.

"But I understand his reasons for seeking the release. He was obviously very disappointed in missing out on the Wallabies’ job and he sees his best opportunity to further his international coaching career is from South Africa."

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