Cloud of secrecy envelopes Goosen 'retirement'

Sat, 17 Dec 2016 18:55

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Racing kicking coach Ronan O'Gara at the weekend claimed he was stunned by the bombshell revelation that Springbok utility back Johan Goosen has retired.

He was not the only person left in the dark.

Goosen was threatened with legal action by his French club, Racing, after his shock decision to quit the sport and return to South Africa.

The 24-year-old was reported to be taking up a commercial director's job in South Africa, a decision which left French champions Racing fuming.

However, the subterfuge surrounding the reasons for the decision has left more questions than answers.

Neither Goosen, nor his agent, were willing to take calls to clear the air and provide some fact to stop the rumour mill gaining further momentum.

Rumours Goosen wanted out of his French deal - which was extended to 2020 earlier this year - were running wild while the 24-year-old was with the national squad on South Africa's year-end tour last month.

Goosen had failed to return to the club after the tour and this past Friday Racing President Jacky Lorenzetti revealed that the player had 'retired'.

"I only found about it on Twitter and I am part of the Racing management team," O'Gara said after Glasgow Warriors beat Racing 23-7 on Friday to knock them out of the European Cup.

"There has been a lot of unrest, but this has shocked us.

"When he is in the right frame of mind, we need him.

"He was part of a fantastic team that succeeded in getting to and winning a [European Cup] Final last year."

The Racing boss, Lorenzetti, was in a less courteous mood.

"Johan Goosen, whose contract was renegotiated less than a year ago, now claims to be releasing himself in an extraordinary manner by announcing he has made the unbelievable decision to return to South Africa for a role of commercial director," Lorenzetti said.

"Racing 92 reserves the right for a judicial follow-up to both Johan Goosen and those who advise him.

"Racing have always supported Johan Goosen both morally and financially, even though he has unfortunately demonstrated lately a certain lack of responsibility.

"Hopefully he will quickly realise that respect for a contract, like that of the given word, is the basis of all relationships."