Castres fighting to keep Kockott
Castres have dismissed claims that scrum-half Rory Kockott has threatened not to return to the club if he is not released from his contract.
It was initially reported that the former Sharks and Lions number nine, who is on holiday in South Africa, wants to leave Castres to join Top 14 rivals Racing Metro.
But Castres have released a statement on their official website refuting this and revealed that Kockott is contracted with Castres until 2014.
"Following the various newspaper articles referring to the situation of Rory Kockott, Castres Olympique wish to state that this player has a contract to remain with Castres for another year if the club qualifies for the (2013/14) European Cup (competition])" the statement read.
"On the contrary, he (Kockott) will be free (to leave) if the club does not qualify for this (European Cup)] competition."
Castres confirmed they have granted Kockott a week off to attend his sister's wedding in South Africa and said said they are confident he will "respect" his contractual obligations.
"Rory Kockott has never threatened not to resume his activities (at Castres), contrary to the report on the RMC Sport website," the club statement added.
However, the RMC Sport website quoted Kockott as saying he was even considering resuming his career in South Africa if the "deadlock" between him and the club is not resolved.
According to that report, Kockott, who is amongst the Top 14's leading points scorers, wants to leave Castres in June.
However, he complained of a lack of dialogue with the the club's leadership, who he accused of being "inflexible" about the clause in his contract that will keep him at Castres if they qualify for the European Cup.
The 26-year-old suggested he would return to France as planned next week if Castres agree to release clause.
Castres face Grenoble on Saturday - the only game Kockott will miss, according to the club.
He joined Castres from the Lions as they have a strong contingent of South African players including Jannie Bornman, Michael Coetzee and Antonie Claassen.