SuperSport.com recently revealed that coach Paul Treu had accredited former Sevens Springbok Lionel Mapoe on request of his agent and the national selectors to be part of the South African team for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. The Games start in just over a week with the Rugby Sevens tournament between 12-13 October 2010. However, the request from the Sevens management was turned down by the Cheetahs.
Mapoe has been locked in a bitter contractual dispute with the Cheetahs for six months and coupled with some niggling injuries has not played competitively for some time.
He is still training with the Sharks in Durban and has refused to return to the FreeState capital and the Cheetahs. The dispute has escalated to the point where it will be heard in the Supreme Court.
Happier days. Lionel Mapoe and the FreeState’s Naka Drotske (Pic: L. Mapoe)
According to Supersport.com Treu confirmed the request, saying he didn’t want to get involved in the dispute, but was looking to help the player get some playing time while he was in limbo.
Mapoe is a Sevens Springbok and knows both the structures and game plan of the Sevens squad, and would have been a welcome boost to South Africa’s hopes of getting a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
“I just thought it would be the ideal chance for him to get some time on the field, which is valuable for a player like him who hasn’t played for some months. Naturally it would also have aided us in our quest for a medal in the competition,” added Treu. “I have to say that I am disappointed, not only for ourselves but also for Lionel, who needs to put this behind him and get back onto the field again.”