Elton in Golden Lions' play-off plans
Elton in Golden Lions' play-off plansSHARE
Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies will play two more matches for the Stormers, before returning to Johannesburg to help the Golden Lions in their bid to regain their Super Rugby status.
Despite reports that the Stormers and Western Province are attempting to convince Jantjies to move to Cape Town permanently, the 22-year-old pivot will return to Johannesburg after the Stormers' final league game – against the Bulls at Newlands on July 13.
That is a fortnight before the first of the Lions' two-match promotion-relegation series against the Southern Kings – in Port Elizabeth on July 26 and Johannesburg on August 2.
"Elton said he will return [to the Lions], but he wants to complete the Super Rugby season in Cape Town," Lions coach Johan Ackermann told this website in an exclusive interview.
"The next two weekends he will still play for the Stormers, before we will see him," he said of the Cape Town franchise's games against the Kings in PE this coming weekend and the Bulls at Newlands a week later.
"However, he is available [to the Lions] for the promotion-relegation matches."
While Jantjies has not featured in any matches for the Lions this year, Ackermann feels two weeks is enough time to re-introduce him to the systems.
"Obviously things changed a bit in the last six or seven months that he was at the Stormers.
"However, it should not take a player of his calibre long to adjust, I think a couple of days and he will slot right in," Ackermann said of the two-week period Jantjies will; be with the team before the play-offs.
Ackermann added that while Jantjies will also be available to the Golden Lions for their Currie Cup campaign, there is no certainty about his future beyond 2013.
"That process will runs its course between the [Golden Lions Rugby Union] CEO [Manie Booysen] and the agent," he said of the reports that WP and the Stormers are keen to lure Jantjies and Jaco Taute permanently to Cape Town.
"If Elton [Jantjies] wants to stay, we will certainly look at retaining him," Ackermann told this website, adding: "He will obviously negotiate with the various unions [Golden Lions and Western Province].
"He has always been happy here [at the Lions] and if we can retain him it will be great.
"However, that process – between him, the agent and the unions – will run its course."
By Jan de Koning