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South Africa Super Rugby Teams do transfers during the Lockdown period

TRF_heineken

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Well the SA teams have been rather busy this past couple of weeks in doing some shopping of players to help their squads.

The Bulls:
The Bulls have been the most busy, and their first acquisition was that of coach Jake White. And he was just a week in his job when he started to make the signings.

Players in:
Gio Aplon
Duane Vermeulen
Arno Botha
Marcel v/d Merwe
Walt Steenkamp
Sintu Manjezi

Players Out:
Johnny Kotze
Manie Libbok
Dylan Sage
Warick Gelant

The Lions:
The Lions haven't been acquiring any players, while they've lost quite a few, and have also been very busy trying to keep hold of some of their players like Elton Jantjies.

Players in:
N/A

Players Out:
Malcolm Marx
Tyrone Green
Shaun Reynolds
Ruan Vermaak

The Sharks:
The Sharks had a lot of interested parties looking to sign their current batch of World Cup winning springboks, and had to fend off lucrative offers for guys like Makazole Mapimpi and Thomas Du Toit.

Players in:
Manie Libbok

Players Out:
Andre Esterhuizen
Tyler Paul
Andisa Ntsila

The Stormers:
The Stormers are having a torrid time. They are fighting to keep Pieter-Steph Du Toit, with a lot of offers for him, and he hasn't signed a new contract agreement with them. And while that is going on, they are trying to plug the gaps left by others.

Players in:
Warrick Gelant
Kade Wolhuter
Keke Morabe

Players Out:
Dillyn Leyds
Wilco Louw
Cobus Wiese
Jean-Luc Du Plessis

The Bulls certainly have done the best out of the lot, and secured 4 capped springboks during this period, with the return of Arno Botha and Marcel v/d Merwe to their old stomping ground. It does seem like there is a plan to bring the Bulls back to their glory days.
 

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It's smart that they're being proactive because it's easy to fall into a slump due to the lockdown.
 

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The Bulls certainly have done the best out of the lot, and secured 4 capped springboks during this period, with the return of Arno Botha and Marcel v/d Merwe to their old stomping ground. It does seem like there is a plan to bring the Bulls back to their glory days.

As a Bulls fan, what do you make of the Bulls recruitment thus far ? (i.e a forward focused recruitment drive)

I was quite gutted by yesterday's news that Gelant was moving to the Stormers. According to reports, the Lions made a bigger offer than the Stormers and the Bulls also wanted to keep Gelant. Yet he chose the Stormers. The Bulls CEO even said that he was surprised to hear that Gelant was considering other offers given that his agent affirmed last week that Gelant was happy at the Bulls. One report in News24 also stated that Gelant probably wasn't sold on Jake White's plans for the Bulls. Gelant said himself that he thinks the coaches and players at the Stormers will improve his game, which means that he isn't thinking much of the current personnel at the Bulls. It is unfortunate that he is leaving, but it is what is and hopefully someone else (Richard Kriel or Divan Rossouw) takes this opportunity to step up to the plate. Luckily the Junior structures seem to be very strong and hopefully Jake will utilise more Juniors and improve the team culture so that our best players will stay with us if they don't want to go overseas.
 

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What is happening to PSDT?

Considering the 21 day clause very few players have left
 

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What is happening to PSDT?

Considering the 21 day clause very few players have left

PSDT is staying with the Stormers at least till after the B & I Lions tour next year. It has been reported this morning that he withdrew his notice to terminate his contract, which suggests that his terms for a new agreement was met.
 

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As a Bulls fan, what do you make of the Bulls recruitment thus far ? (i.e a forward focused recruitment drive)

I was quite gutted by yesterday's news that Gelant was moving to the Stormers. According to reports, the Lions made a bigger offer than the Stormers and the Bulls also wanted to keep Gelant. Yet he chose the Stormers. The Bulls CEO even said that he was surprised to hear that Gelant was considering other offers given that his agent affirmed last week that Gelant was happy at the Bulls. One report in News24 also stated that Gelant probably wasn't sold on Jake White's plans for the Bulls. Gelant said himself that he thinks the coaches and players at the Stormers will improve his game, which means that he isn't thinking much of the current personnel at the Bulls. It is unfortunate that he is leaving, but it is what is and hopefully someone else (Richard Kriel or Divan Rossouw) takes this opportunity to step up to the plate. Luckily the Junior structures seem to be very strong and hopefully Jake will utilise more Juniors and improve the team culture so that our best players will stay with us if they don't want to go overseas.

I'm not really that bothered with Gelant leaving, he's been very poor all season for the Bulls (maybe still hungover from the World Cup). And he's had a lot of up and down games over the year's for the Bulls.

We have acquired Aplon, and I guess this was the final straw for Gelant, and with Rossouw and Kriel starting to show their prowess, I guess Gelant felt a bit pressured of game time. I can't blame him for leaving.

As for Jake White's acquisition's. I can't really blame him for going this route. The Bulls always play better when they have a strong pack, and it was one area where we have talked in the past year or so, about problem areas. The Bulls will now have a monster pack. And can grind out the opposition like we know they can.

My main concern at this moment is the fly half position.

We only have Morne Steyn now that Libbok has left for the Sharks. So it begs the question of who would be Steyn's understudy/successor? We also have Marnitz Boshoff, but he's injured more than on the field, so he's very unreliable.

What is happening to PSDT?

Considering the 21 day clause very few players have left

PSDT signed a new contract on Saturday with the Stormers. He's staying until end of 2021.
 

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I'm not really that bothered with Gelant leaving, he's been very poor all season for the Bulls (maybe still hungover from the World Cup). And he's had a lot of up and down games over the year's for the Bulls.

We have acquired Aplon, and I guess this was the final straw for Gelant, and with Rossouw and Kriel starting to show their prowess, I guess Gelant felt a bit pressured of game time. I can't blame him for leaving.

As for Jake White's acquisition's. I can't really blame him for going this route. The Bulls always play better when they have a strong pack, and it was one area where we have talked in the past year or so, about problem areas. The Bulls will now have a monster pack. And can grind out the opposition like we know they can.

My main concern at this moment is the fly half position.

We only have Morne Steyn now that Libbok has left for the Sharks. So it begs the question of who would be Steyn's understudy/successor? We also have Marnitz Boshoff, but he's injured more than on the field, so he's very unreliable.



PSDT signed a new contract on Saturday with the Stormers. He's staying until end of 2021.

With Libbok leaving the Bulls need to promote that youth player that we don't know yet to be mentored by Steyn while he is still there. The youth player who might become the next Pollard with great potential. Promote from within its what South African teams does best. They absolutely should not look to sign another backup and I'd say release Boshoff from his contract he is going to block a youth pathway. If you are Marnitz Boshoff reading this then I am sorry for saying this about you, but my intentions is noble. Boshoff is a good player though but there is no use in just having two very experienced players who's Springbork days are behind them. I understand Jake bringing in the experience but they also still need to look at the future.
 

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I'm not really that bothered with Gelant leaving, he's been very poor all season for the Bulls (maybe still hungover from the World Cup). And he's had a lot of up and down games over the year's for the Bulls.

We have acquired Aplon, and I guess this was the final straw for Gelant, and with Rossouw and Kriel starting to show their prowess, I guess Gelant felt a bit pressured of game time. I can't blame him for leaving.

This actually makes a lot of sense. I guess I was "overly emotional" because he chose to go to our Southern Rivals. But in hindsight, he has been up and down, as you pointed out, after having a lengthy injury run and never performed well on a consistent basis. Perhaps then, it is better for him to try and establish himself in a new environment.

The same with Libbok. He never made the 10 jersey his own. I get that he played behind Pollard for most of last year and thus had n dip in form, but playing every game in last year's Currie Cup and the matches where he started at 10 this year, he has failed to impress. He only produced a couple of glimpses of what he can do, but they were few and scattered between far too many errors.

I hope that Chris Smith is at the Bulls on a long term agreement and not just for Super Rugby. That should provide us with a good back up option for Morné Steyn for the time being.

With Libbok leaving the Bulls need to promote that youth player that we don't know yet to be mentored by Steyn while he is still there. The youth player who might become the next Pollard with great potential. Promote from within its what South African teams does best. They absolutely should not look to sign another backup and I'd say release Boshoff from his contract he is going to block a youth pathway. If you are Marnitz Boshoff reading this then I am sorry for saying this about you, but my intentions is noble. Boshoff is a good player though but there is no use in just having two very experienced players who's Springbork days are behind them. I understand Jake bringing in the experience but they also still need to look at the future.

Agreed. Last year's u21 Fly half, Theo Boshoff, is definitely one for the future and should be involved with Jake's plans early on. Ironically, he is from the same school as Handré Pollard and he is a similar type of player. He isn't scared to attack the line, he distributes well and he has a very solid and accurate boot on him. Hopefully Jake can nurture and involve our Juniors. They were an incredible side last year so it isn't necessary to recruit too many outside players.
 

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This actually makes a lot of sense. I guess I was "overly emotional" because he chose to go to our Southern Rivals. But in hindsight, he has been up and down, as you pointed out, after having a lengthy injury run and never performed well on a consistent basis. Perhaps then, it is better for him to try and establish himself in a new environment.

The same with Libbok. He never made the 10 jersey his own. I get that he played behind Pollard for most of last year and thus had n dip in form, but playing every game in last year's Currie Cup and the matches where he started at 10 this year, he has failed to impress. He only produced a couple of glimpses of what he can do, but they were few and scattered between far too many errors.

I hope that Chris Smith is at the Bulls on a long term agreement and not just for Super Rugby. That should provide us with a good back up option for Morné Steyn for the time being.

The Bulls and the Stormers have a tendency to have players move between the 2 franchises, so it's not really that big of a deal.

Gelant is from the Cape, so I guess this is his coming home party. No problem with that.



Agreed. Last year's u21 Fly half, Theo Boshoff, is definitely one for the future and should be involved with Jake's plans early on. Ironically, he is from the same school as Handré Pollard and he is a similar type of player. He isn't scared to attack the line, he distributes well and he has a very solid and accurate boot on him. Hopefully Jake can nurture and involve our Juniors. They were an incredible side last year so it isn't necessary to recruit too many outside players.

Yeah, he does look very promising.

Just on another note, the Bulls aren't finished with their recruitment.

They announced yesterday 2 more signings:

Travis Ishmaiel
Schalk Erasmus
 

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Just on another note, the Bulls aren't finished with their recruitment.

They announced yesterday 2 more signings:

Travis Ishmaiel
Schalk Erasmus

I see Divan Rossouw has been signed by the Lions, with Jaco Visagie and Burger Odendaal also close to making the switch to the Lions. Libbok going to the Sharks also finalised.

This makes our depth at 15 very lean. Only Aplon and Richard Kriel that are out and out 15's. The only other youngster is the Tuks full back, Zander du Plessis, who can also slot in at fly half if need be and he played in the Grey College 1st XV with Richard Kriel.

I am really interested to see how Jake White will address our lack of depth at 15 and possibly 10. Our young centres should be fine, although, having an experienced player in the midfield is always beneficial. Time will tell
 

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I see Divan Rossouw has been signed by the Lions, with Jaco Visagie and Burger Odendaal also close to making the switch to the Lions. Libbok going to the Sharks also finalised.

This makes our depth at 15 very lean. Only Aplon and Richard Kriel that are out and out 15's. The only other youngster is the Tuks full back, Zander du Plessis, who can also slot in at fly half if need be and he played in the Grey College 1st XV with Richard Kriel.

I am really interested to see how Jake White will address our lack of depth at 15 and possibly 10. Our young centres should be fine, although, having an experienced player in the midfield is always beneficial. Time will tell

I get the feeling that Jesse Kriel is the next target for the Bulls to return. Jake White is not done yet. Apparently he got a mandate from the Mr. Rupert and Mr. Motsepe to build a legacy at the franchise, and that he can sign whoever he wants to.

The other guy I'm hoping to make a return is Jan Serfontein.
 

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I get the feeling that Jesse Kriel is the next target for the Bulls to return. Jake White is not done yet. Apparently he got a mandate from the Mr. Rupert and Mr. Motsepe to build a legacy at the franchise, and that he can sign whoever he wants to.

The other guy I'm hoping to make a return is Jan Serfontein.

Kriel and Serfontein would be huge ! A report last Sunday indicated that Bakkies Botha was in discussion with a Springbok to come back from overseas and play for the Bulls. Perhaps this could be Kriel. Or Marcell Coetzee.

In other Kriel news. The Bulls have signed Richard Kriel's older brother, David, from the Stormers. He can cover full back and outside centre.

It seems that Jake White is definitely planning for the future as well. Now we just need to retain the proper players from our junior teams and then we should be fine for atleast another 2-3 years in terms of outside recruitment I think.
 

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On a side note, I think the style of rugby that Jake White wants to play is becoming quite apparent. With the exception of Gio Aplon and the scrumhalves, our backline will consist of quite big and physical players. Pair that with a big forward pack and it seems we will try to play direct rugby by bashing and bruising teams.

The Bulls president also indicated this morning that Jake White MUST win the Currie Cup this year. It's good to know that at an executive level atleast there is still ambition and hunger within the union !
 

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The Bulls president also indicated this morning that Jake White MUST win the Currie Cup this year.

That's a death sentence, you can't expect poor Jake to be able to beat the Sharks after only a few months!
 

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That's a death sentence, you can't expect poor Jake to be able to beat the Sharks after only a few months!

Haha. If anyone knows the Sharks structures, it would be Jake. His inside knowledge will help a lot.

But yeah, it's very unreasonable to put that kind of pressure on a coach. But then again, it's Jake White, he likes these pressure moments.
 

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That's a death sentence, you can't expect poor Jake to be able to beat the Sharks after only a few months!
Perhaps not...but this is Jake White and funnier things have happened in rugby before. Any team can be beaten on anyday. But, the Sharks were definitely the pace setting team in SA before the lockdown, so it will be interesting to see how the teams respond once things getting going again !

On a different note, how do you guys think teams should approach their team selections given that some players are already leaving to new teams later on ?

If one of your main players is leaving in November, would you keep playing them in your starting team, or will you start building and experimenting with the players that have to fill those positions in the next season?
 

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Just read the Bulls also signed Nizam Carr last week. Don't know why it didn't show in my news list, or maybe I didn't pay proper attention.

Don't understand this signing though. Sure Carr is a decent player, but he's probably going to battle for a starting spot behind Duane Vermeulen and Arno Botha at no. 8 or at the flank behind guys like Marco van Staden, Josh Strauss and Muller Uys, who is being groomed like the next Danie Rossouw.
 

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Just read the Bulls also signed Nizam Carr last week. Don't know why it didn't show in my news list, or maybe I didn't pay proper attention.

Don't understand this signing though. Sure Carr is a decent player, but he's probably going to battle for a starting spot behind Duane Vermeulen and Arno Botha at no. 8 or at the flank behind guys like Marco van Staden, Josh Strauss and Muller Uys, who is being groomed like the next Danie Rossouw.

Agreed. And then there still is Abongile Nonkontwana and Ruan Steenkamp. Unless we offload Strauss (due to his high salary) and/or Steenkamp (makes too many mistakes during games) and Nonkontwana (unfortunately he's just about an average player), this signing doesn't make sense given that there is a couple of young flanks coming through as well (Muller Uys, Jaco Labuschagne, etc). Perhaps they might try him out at lock ?

But I guess Jake White does have a specific plan so time will tell what he had in mind with Carr.
 

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Will there be a Super Rugby SA? New Zealand has their own going now and Australia's begins next month. So what about South Africa? You've got the four teams and can always put together a fifth (travel) team if necessary.
 

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Will there be a Super Rugby SA? New Zealand has their own going now and Australia's begins next month. So what about South Africa? You've got the four teams and can always put together a fifth (travel) team if necessary.

There will be soon I think. Our President relaxed the conditions for sporting codes last night and contact sports are now allowed to train, while non-contact sports are given the green light to play again without crowds in the stands.

My guess is that another 2 weeks and then rugby will also be given the green light to play. And SARU is already busy with planning a tournament with the idea of all the teams playing at one venue like Emirates Airlines Park in Johannesburg.
 

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