Bulls name imports in Super squad

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:52

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Bulls have named all their off-season signings in a 46-man squad for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

Also named is injured skipper Adriaan Strauss.

The new signings include Johnny Kotze (from the Stormers), Jacques Potgieter (Sharks) and Conraad van Vuuren (Free State).

Potgieter, who re-joins the Bulls after stints with the Waratahs, Sharks and Japan's Blues, is one of 12 Springboks in the squad - with Namibian captain Renaldo Bothma adding further international experience.

Strauss, who retired from international rugby at the end of last year, will again lead the side.

However, with the hooker recovering from back surgery and not expected back for the opening weeks of the tournament, Handré Pollard will take the reins.

The Springbok pivot missed all of last year through injury, but is now fully recovered.

Strauss (132 matches) is by far the most experienced player in the squad, with Trevor Nyakane (70), and Piet van Zyl (68) the only other players past 50 caps.

Jan Serfontein (48) and Arno Botha (46) could pass that milestone soon, while a number of new faces could debut in 2017.

Luther Obi, Jade Stighling, JT Jackson, Tony Jantjies, Duncan Matthews, Kefentse Mahlo, Sibahle Maxwane and Andre Warner are the backs that could make their first Super Rugby appearances, while forwards Shaun Adendorff, Ruan Steenkamp, Conraad van Vuuren, John-Roy Jenkinson and Corniel Els could also feature in the competition for the first time.

Prop Martin Dreyer did play for the Stormers in previous seasons, but has not yet played for the Bulls in the competition.

Bulls coach, Nollis Marais, is excited about the season and expressed happiness with the squad.

"It is exciting times for us and we are keen to get going," Marais said.

"A lot of the players have experienced Super Rugby last season for the first time, so they will have a much better understanding of what to expect.

"We have one or two players out with injury still, but that gives another guy the opportunity to grow and gain experience," Marais added.

New recruits: Johnny Kotze (Stormers), Jacques Potgieter (Sharks), Conraad van Vuuren (Free State).

Players transferred out: SP Marais, Bjorn Basson, Dan Kriel (all Stormers), Pieter Labuschagne, Deon Stegmann, Grant Hattingh (all Japan), Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Marcel van der Merwe (France), Werner Kruger (Wales), Callie Visagie, Bandise Maku (retired).

Bulls squad:

Backs: Ulrich Beyers, Warrick Gelant, Jesse Kriel*, Travis Ismaiel, Luther Obi, Jamba Ulengo*, Jade Stighling, Duncan Matthews, Kefentse Mahlo, Sibahle Maxwane, Johnny Kotze, Dries Swanepoel, Burger Odendaal, JT Jackson, Jan Serfontein*, Francois Brummer, Tony Jantjies, Tian Schoeman, Handré Pollard* (captain), Ivan van Zyl, Piet van Zyl*, Rudy Paige*, Andre Warner.

Forwards: Hanro Liebenberg, Arno Botha*, Nick de Jager, Renaldo Bothma**, Jannes Kirsten, Jacques Potgieter*, Roelof Smit***, Shaun Adendorff, Ruan Steenkamp, Lood de Jager*, RG Snyman***, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane*, Conraad van Vuuren, John-Roy Jenkinson, Martin Dreyer, Jacobie Adriaanse, Pierre Schoeman, Lizo Gqoboka***, Adriaan Strauss*, Edgar Marutlulle, Corniel Els,Jaco Visagie.

* Springboks
** Namibian international
*** Springbok tourist v Barbarians

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10