VIDEO: Bulls also opt for co-captains

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 17:00

SUPER RUGBY SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: The Bulls' new coach, John Mitchell, has opted for a practice that is common in his home country of New Zealand.

The former All Black coach, Mitchell, has named midfielder Burger Odendaal and loose forward Nic de Jager as co-captains for the Bulls in 2018.

While the practice is often used in New Zealand - Ben Smith And Ash Dixon will lead the Highlanders in 2018 - it is not a common practice in South Africa.

The Stormers, a few years ago, named France Malherbe and Juan de Jongh as co-captains, but has since dropped the practice.

Mitchell named a 38-man Super Rugby squad.

The squad is made up out of 21 forwards and 17 backs, with 11 Springboks and a host of Junior Springboks.  

Springbok Sevens forward Tim Agaba has also been included and will join the squad after the BlitzBoks return from tournaments in Sydney and Hamilton.
 
Only a handful of players do not have any Super Rugby experience, among those outside back Divan Rossouw, midfielder JT Jackson, flyhalf Manie Libbok, scrumhalf Embrose Papier and lock Aston Fortuin.
 
The Bulls will be involved in two warm-up matches this weekend - as they take on the Sharks in Polokwane on Saturday and the Lions in Johannesburg.

"We have made tremendous progress with our processes over the last couple of months and we will be ready for whatever comes our way during Super Rugby 2018," said Mitchell
 
"I am confident that we have worked smartly and laid a solid foundation. This squad will develop and improve and one needs to be realistic about it, but we are all in agreement about the way forward.  

"We will be connected, we want to be respected and not just liked and therefore one of our main focus areas during this process will be to remain honest and never forget to enjoy it and have fun.  We want to serve our fans, supporters, shareholders and sponsors - we want to earn back their respect and get the Bulls to bind us together as one."
 
* Meanwhile the Bulls have parted ways with Springbok loose forward Jacques Potgieter, after lengthy discussions on his future.

Potgieter has decided not to partake in Super Rugby during 2018, and rather take a sabbatical to focus on his family and spend time with his wife, boy and soon to be born twins.

Bulls squad:

Backs: Warrick Gelant, Duncan Matthews, Travis Ismaiel, Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stighling, Divan Rossouw, Burger Odendaal, JT Jackson, Francois Brummer, Jesse Kriel, Johnny Kotze, Handre Pollard, Marnitz Boshoff, Manie Libbok, Ivan van Zyl, Andre Warner, Embrose Papier.

Forwards: Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Hendre Stassen, Hanro Liebenberg, Jannes Kirsten, Nic de Jager, Tim Agaba, Jason Jenkins, Ruben van Heerden, Rudolph Snyman, Lodewyk de Jager, Aston Fortuin, Pierre Schoeman, Conraad van Vuuren, Frans van Wyk, Matthys Basson, Lizo Gqoboka, Trevor Nyakane, Jaco Visagie, Adriaan Strauss, Edgar Marutlulle.

 

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