Western Province captain Siya Kolisi.
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
Siya Kolisi confirmed at his Sharks unveiling on Wednesday that there was a transfer fee that had to be paid to Western Province for his early release and that he “took care of it” himself.
Kolisi confirmed that he rejected Western Province’s contract renewal offer.
It was earlier reported that a R1 million release was attached to Kolisi’s contract, which was set to expire at the end of October.
“[Western Province] offered me something and I said ‘no, I won’t accept it’,” said Kolisi.
“I asked if it’s possible for me to leave earlier.
“There was obviously a transfer fee and that is something I had to take care of myself.”
Rumours that Kolisi would join the Sharks caught fire at the start of the year when MVM Holdings, of which Roc Nation Sports president Michael Yormark is a part, acquired 51% of the Sharks from the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union (KZRU) and SuperSport.
Kolisi was Roc Nation’s first rugby player on the American sports agency’s books and was later joined by England’s Maro Itoje as well as countryman Cheslin Kolbe.
Roc Nation ramped up their influence in South African rugby by signing a global partnership with the Sharks, further fuelling rumours of Kolisi’s switch from Cape Town to Durban.
However, the 29-year-old said he opted against going overseas as far back as 2015 and if he wasn’t going to play for Western Province, his desire was to join the Sharks.
“I thought about it a while ago, after the 2015 World Cup, [that] I wanted to go overseas,” Kolisi said.
“It was a really tough period in my career. But then again, the work I do off the field is really important to me and it’s one of the reasons why I love playing the game.
“Rugby opens a lot of opportunities for me. The most important thing is playing well on the field and I knew if I went away it would be hard for me to do that work.
“I made a decision to stay in South Africa for as long as I can.
“I always said that if I ever left Cape Town, this is the place I’d come to. Seeing the guys and playing against them – and I know a lot of them that play here – I’ve formed relationships with them.
“The culture and the vibe they have, I knew this was the best for me.”