Silly season, rugby season or both?

While spats between Australian rugby boss John O'Neill and the Brumbies have been acknowledged, details of a similar feud involving former All Black coach Laurie Mains are just eking out of South Africa.

But reality has changed to bizarre as the June 10 transfer season approaches in France, where there is the extraordinary suggestion that Andrew Mehrtens may leave New Zealand for Biarritz.


It seems far-fetched even if Mehrtens wanted to move after a shaky Super 12, because the first five-eighths recently re-signed for an extended term with Canterbury.

Facts seem to be a little light in a Midi Olympique newspaper report which lists the anticipated transfers.

However reports from South Africa suggesting Mains and Cats captain Rassie Erasmus were at loggerheads during the Super 12 have gained greater credibility with Erasmus breaking his silence on the claims.

In the Rapport newspaper, Erasmus said the standoff between himself and Mains became so bad in Australia he considered leaving the side and flying home.

Team information during the Super 12 suggested Erasmus had a variety of injuries.

But according to the report in Rapport, Mains alleged Erasmus was depressed and undermined his authority as coach.

Another coach, former Springbok supremo Nick Mallett, is now being tipped to join the Brive club in France after earlier links to the Brumbies and the Blues.

Mehrtens is supposed to have spoken to Biarritz, the club taking on the Brumbies hero Joe Roff and looking for a five-eighths to replace retiring former All Black Frano Botica.

There is also a suggestion Joeli Vidiri is in Dax to talk to the club about a shift and word that former Auckland lock Richard Fromont is returning home from Agen.

After a disappointing season with Castres, there is little doubt, apparently, that Norm Berryman will leave, though his destination remains unclear, and Auckland loose forward Finau Maka is supposed to be heading to Toulouse.

Amid all the speculation, theory and conjecture about French rugby there is confirmation that Christian Califano is leaving Toulouse to play for Auckland in the NPC.

That restores some credibility to the rumour list until another sentence which says Glen Osborne may be leaving Biarritz to play in England.

Funny that. Osborne has been back in North Harbour territory for a while recuperating from injury in preparation for the NPC start in August.