Hattingh: Why Bulls is better than WP
Hattingh: Why Bulls is better than WPSHARE
New Bulls loose forward Grant Hattingh has revealed that he turned down an offer from Western Province to sign with the Bulls.
Hattingh, in an exclusive interview with this website, said that signing with the Pretoria franchise was the best move for his career right now.
A product of the University of Stellenbosch, the 21-year-old last week revealed that he would be moving from the Lions to the Bulls at the end of the 2012 Super Rugby season.
This despite an offer to resume his career in Cape Town, where he made one appearance for Western Province this year before joining the Lions on a short-term Super Rugby contract.
Hattingh, who admitted to being both nervous and very excited about his trans-Jukskei transfer, is looking forward to the next chapter in his career.
"I always say challenges are exciting," he told this website.
"It is going to be hard work, a big change… I'll probably be the only English guy in Pretoria! However, it is a step in life that you have to take and I will make the most of it."
He described the decision as "the best move for my rugby career", adding: "If there is one union where the guys try to get into it is the Bulls. An offer like that is quite hard to say no to."
Asked if he had considered a return to the Western Cape – where he represented the Maties in the 2011 and 2012 Varsity Cup competitions and made an appearance for WP in this year's Vodacom Cup before his move to Johannesburg – Hattingh confirmed he had other offers.
"[Western] Province did put money on the table, but I have done my time there… I was third/fourth choice and if I had to go back I would still be third/fourth choice.
"I don't feel the time is right to go back. Maybe one day in the future, but I just feel right now is not the right time."
Asked if he expected to get more game time at the Bulls, given their plethora of quality loose forwards, he said he felt it would be more than what the case would have been in Cape Town.
"They [the Bulls] won't have any of their Springboks for the Currie Cup… so I'll hopefully get more game time," he said.
Given that he already has half a season of Super Rugby experience under his belt, but has yet to make his Currie Cup debut, Hattingh expects SA's premier domestic competition to be of a similar standard to that of Super Rugby.
"The derbies [between the Super Rugby franchises that will also compete in the Currie Cup] are always big games, the tempo of those matches are very high.
"Games like Lions versus Bulls or Lions versus Stormers are always much bigger than Lions versus Rebels.
"Derby day in the Currie Cup is just as amazing, it is top-notch rugby."
His contract with the Lions comes to an end this month and he will start with the Bulls on August 1.
"Obviously the Lions are not in the [Super Rugby] play-offs, but there are still a couple of team activities," he told this website.
"They [the Lions] have done so much for me and even though we are not in the play-offs, it doesn't mean we are not going to do things."
By Jan de Koning