Are the Sharks ready to splash out for World Cup-winning Bok centre?

Are the Sharks ready to splash out for World Cup-winning Bok centre?

World Cup-winning Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen is being lined up by his former club, the Sharks, according to reports.

Esterhuizen's current contract with Premiership side Harlequins expires at the end of the 2024/25 season, but the Durban-based Sharks are willing to pay a massive release fee to lure the centre back to South Africa.

The 2023 World Cup winner joined Harlequins in 2020 and has since helped the team win the 2020/21 Premiership title.

Despite having another season left on his contract, Esterhuizen is still attracting interest from several clubs.

He reportedly rejected the advances of French Top 14 club Toulon and heads up the shortlist of multiple Japanese outfits.

According to a report by Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, the Sharks are keen to get the Springbok back on their payroll but need to pay Harlequins a transfer fee of £500,000 (almost R12 million).

The report adds that despite the huge fee, the decision-makers at the Sharks are still hopeful that the centre will return to Durban.

The URC side is in the market for an inside centre, with Rohan Janse van Rensburg joining Bordeaux-Begles at the end of the season.

Jan Serfontein was reportedly one of the Sharks' targets to fill Janse van Rensburg's void, but the Springbok has opted to remain at Montpellier for another season, turning down the Durban-based side and the Bulls.

Esterhuizen is not the only 2023 World Cup winner that the Sharks have been linked with, as the Rapport states that the side is also eager to sign versatile prop Trevor Nyakane.

Nyakane is currently plying his trade at Racing 92, who will reportedly not offer him a contract extension.

The 34-year-old hopes to move into the coaching arena with his playing career coming to an end, and the report states that the Sharks and Bulls are in the running for his signature.

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