Pumas wants Koch to give back

Date published: June 8 2016

Saracens-bound Vincent Koch is contracted to the Pumas, despite having played for the Stormers, but the Mbombela Stadium outfit has laid an official complaint with SA Rugby after Koch penned a deal with the Premiership champions.

It was announced that Koch will join the Allianz Park outfit ahead of the 2016/17 season for two years.

The 26-year-old player has been playing Super Rugby for the Stormers for the past two seasons and has made two appearances for the Springboks during this time.

The Pumas, however, want him to play for them in the Currie Cup before he joins Saracens, but Koch has taken the time before leaving for England, at the end of the year, to undergo knee surgery.

This decision has infuriated the Nelspruit side and Pieter Burger, CEO of the Pumas, has cited the decision to go under the knife as 'blackmail'.

"It’s blatant blackmailing," Burger told Netwerk24.

"If Vincent’s knee injury is so serious, why is the operation postponed? 

"It’s very coincidental that he needs to spend time on the sidelines exactly when he should represent us in the Currie Cup.

"We invested in Vincent when no one else believed in him. Those were the opportunities we created for him, that allowed him to grow. 

"We don’t have any claims to his future, but we would like him to give something back to the local players in a final Currie Cup campaign."

Burger has also insinuated that the transfer fee from Saracens is a 'ridiculous' offer, after the European champions offered to pay R240,000 for Koch.

"Seasoned tighthead props are scarce commodities in South African rugby. R240,000 for a Springbok prop is ridiculous," he added.