Unwanted Bulls lock heads to France

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 08:15
Large paul willemse bulls ball

Bulls lock Paul Willemse is heading to France, after being overlooked for Springbok selection.

Bulls lock Paul Willemse is heading to France, after being overlooked for Springbok selection.

The Blue Bulls Company (BBC) confirmed on Monday that Willemse will head abroad at the end of the year.

The 22-year-old player will join French club Grenoble after the Currie Cup on a two-year deal.

According to the BBC High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hold on to players and to compete with overseas clubs.

He added that with Willemse being overlooked for Bok selection the big cash offer was too good to ignore.

"Paul feels that he is not currently in the mix for Springbok selection and has a number of locks ahead of him in the line-up, so wants to add a different element to his game by playing in the French Top 14," Janse van Rensburg said.

"Game-time in France will see him improve as a player and we can reap the benefits of that upon his return.

"We tried our utmost best to retain the services of Paul," Janse van Rensburg added.

"It is however very concerning that we are losing players at a younger and younger age to the overseas market.

"In Paul's case, we are talking about a massive offer to the player and one that is very hard to say no to.

"We certainly cannot blame Paul for accepting such a lucrative offer, but even if we wanted to, we could not match it as this is one of the biggest offers I have seen for a player of his age."

Willemse plans to return to South Africa in two years' time to make a bid for the Springboks jersey and could well be back in Bulls colours then.

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 August 2016
Golden Lions v Boland 15h00 Johannesburg
Pumas v Griquas 17h10 Kimberley
Sat, 27 August 2016
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Wellington
EP Kings v Western Province 14h00 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Blue Bulls 16h10 Durban
Argentina v South Africa 17h40 Salta
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 20 August 2016
South Africa v Argentina 30 | 23
Golden Lions v Griquas 24 | 30
Australia v New Zealand 8 | 42
Fri, 19 August 2016
Blue Bulls v EP Kings 49 | 35
Western Province v Free State Cheetahs 25 | 32
Boland v Sharks 20 | 41
Sat, 13 August 2016
Free State Cheetahs v Blue Bulls 43 | 20
Golden Lions v Pumas 68 | 26
Fri, 12 August 2016
Sharks v Griquas 46 | 24
EP Kings v Boland 10 | 28
Sat, 06 August 2016
Boland v Free State Cheetahs 16 | 44
Hurricanes v Lions 20 | 3
Fri, 05 August 2016
Pumas v Sharks 10 | 33
Blue Bulls v Western Province 45 | 26
Sat, 30 July 2016
Lions v Highlanders 42 | 30
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 3 3 0 0 15
Free State Cheetahs 3 3 0 0 14
Blue Bulls 3 2 0 1 10
Golden Lions 2 1 0 1 7
Boland 3 1 0 2 6
Griquas 2 1 0 1 4
Western Province 2 0 0 2 2
EP Kings 2 0 0 2 1
Pumas 2 0 0 2 1