Vodacom Bulls to benefit from newly named Springboks
The inclusion of a number of Vodacom Bulls players into the Springboks touring squad to Europe for their November clashes against the British Barbarians, England, Italy and Wales were just reward for some outstanding individuals during the season, but also to the improvement of the squad as a whole.
That is the opinion of Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls coach, Nollis Marais, after a solid season which saw the Vodacom Blue Bulls reach the final of the prestigious Currie Cup.
"To be honest, although we are enjoying a short break at the end of the Currie Cup, I am already pretty excited about next year's Vodacom Super Rugby season. I honestly believe the Vodacom Bulls will be very competitive. We all know how difficult it is to win the tournament, but we will be un-deterred in our mission to win the overall tournament," Marais said.
The Blue Bulls Rugby Union will deliver yet another Springbok in 2016 when Roelof Smit makes his test debut, while Lizo Gqoboka*, RG Snyman*, Tian Schoeman* and Jamba Ulengo* will all become Springbok tourists when South Africa take on the British Barbarians next Saturday at Wembley in London. (*They will not earn Springbok caps for this match).
Coupled the experience the new tourists will pick up travelling as international rugby players, the likes of Adriaan Strauss, Piet van Zyl, Rudy Paige, Jesse Kriel and Trevor Nyakane will also return more experienced and better players.
"If you consider that players like Handré Pollard and Jan Serfontein will be back well refreshed and guys like Jacques Potgieter and Renaldo Bothma will join us from Japan, it is clear that we will have real depth in our Vodacom Super Rugby squad," Marais said.
New signing Lood de Jager is also on tour with the Springboks.
"I know the season tickets for next year is about to launch, so I want to appeal to our fans to get their hands on that and to come out in numbers to support us at Loftus Versfeld. We are facing mainly New Zealand opponents next year and coupled with the local derbies, it promises to be a huge year for those who secure a season ticket for 2017."
Loftus Versfeld saw some great crowds in the last couple of weeks, with a test match and a Currie Cup semifinal instrumental to that.
"We want to play for, and be accountable to our fans in 2017. We will have a proper squad with good cover in a number of positions and will play with passion and determination. It will be massive if our supporters can show the same attributes and come out in their numbers to support us," Marais said.