Ex-Kings bolster Bulls Super Rugby squad

Date published: November 23 2015

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The Bulls have named their squad for the 2016 Super Rugby season with two former Kings likely to be joined by more players from the Eastern Cape.

The Bulls are hard at work in preparation for the Super Rugby season next year, with some new faces amongst the regular squad members.

Former Kings prop Lizo Gqoboka has settled in well amongst his team mates while winger Luther Obi will join the squad on Wednesday.

"They are highly rated all around and we have been trying to get them to Pretoria for a while now," said Bulls High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg on Monday. 

"We are pretty pleased with the fact that they have joined the Bulls family and are keen to see their contributions to the squad." 

Talks with three other Kings players, Sylvian Mahuza, Thembelani Bholi and Tim Agaba, are on-going and they could still join the team in the near future. 

Negotiations with Francois Hougaard are also going well and if successful, could still see the scrum-half in blue when he is not playing Sevens for the Blitzboks. Francois Brummer is also on loan from the Pumas and the former stalwart could add to his lone Bulls cap gained in 2010.

The squad, under new coach Nollis Marais, will have a youthful, but familiar look, as most of the players came through the junior ranks in Pretoria. 

"Our squad have a youthful look, but the nice thing about that is the fact that we are relying on our junior structures to deliver the goods," added Janse van Rensburg.

"We have a new management group, a new generation of players and a new way we want to approach things. That said, we still need to stick to some of those things that made the Bulls great in the past. 

"This is a long-term team we are building. We understand that we need to have strong first phase possession to play the way we want to and that our skills will have to improve. Everybody is working very hard to achieve that."

A number of injured players will join the fray as they complete rehabilitation, while those playing club rugby in Japan will return during the course of January 2016.

The five returning from Japan are Grant Hattingh, Handré Pollard, JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson and Jesse Kriel.

The injured players are Deon Stegmann, Jannes Kirsten, Nick de Jager and Travis Ismaiel (all back in December), Irne Herbst, Morné Mellett, Jaco Visagie, Roelof Smit, RuanSteenkamp, Hanro Liebenberg, Piet van Zyl, Dries Swanepoel and Warrick Gelant (January) and Callie Visagie (February).

Bulls 2016 Super Rugby squad: 

Forwards:

Props: Trevor Nyakane, Pierre Schoeman, Lizo Gqoboka, Dean Greyling, Nqoba Mxoli, Morné Mellett; Marcel van der Merwe, Werner Kruger, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Entienne Swanepoel.
Hookers: Adriaan Strauss, Bandise Maku, Corniel Els, Jaco Visagie, Callie Visagie. 
Locks: RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Jannes Kirsten; Marvin Orie, Nicholaas Janse van Rensburg, Le Roux Roets, Irne Herbst, Grant Hattingh.
Loose forwards: Lappies Labuschagne, Roelof Smit, Ruan Steenkamp, Deon Stegmann, Freddy Ngoza, Nick de Jager, Arno Botha, Clyde Davids, Hanro Liebenberg. 

Backs:

Scrum-halves: Rudy Paige, Ivan van Zyl, Piet van Zyl. 
Fly-halves: Tian Schoeman, Francois Brummer, Joshua Stander, Handré Pollard.                                                     
Midfielders:  Burger Odendaal, Jan Serfontein, Daniel Kriel, JT Jackson, Dries Swanepoel, JJ Engelbrecht, Jesse Kriel.
Wings: Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stigling, Kafense Mahlo, Travis Ismaiel, Luther Obi, Bjorn Basson. 
Full-backs: Duncan Matthews, Divan Rossouw, Warrick Gelant.

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