Vodacom Bulls name wider training squad

Vodacom Bulls Executive Rugby and Head Coach, John Mitchell, on Wednesday announced his first wider training squad for the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby season and included new signings Frans van Wyk and Thembelani Bholi (flank) in the group that will assemble for pre-season training.

Mitchell included a number of new faces to the squad as well as players still plying their trade in Japan, most notably locks RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins. Two Blitzboks, Tim Agaba and Stedman Gans, is also in the group, although preparing with the Springbok Sevens in Stellenbosch at the moment.

“We are all pretty excited to get the pre-season underway and start putting the hard yards in,” Mitchell said. “The squad shows a good combination of old hands and young upstarts and they all know one thing, no spot in the final squad is guaranteed. Everyone will have to contribute and work very hard to make it into the final group and that will bring some competition in the squad, something that can only benefit us in the long run.”

The Vodacom Bulls will play three warm-up matches in 2018. The squad will be split to face the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on 27 January, and the Cell C Sharks in Polokwane on the same day. They will then head out to a first-ever match in the USA, when they will face the DHL Stormers at Stub Hub Centre in Los Angeles on 3 February.

The wider squad is:

Props: Pierre Schoeman, Trevor Nyakane, Lizo Gqoboka, Conraad van Vuuren, John-Roy Jenkinson, Frans van Wyk, Mox Mxoli, Matthys Basson, Gerhard Steenekamp (Apprentice, injured).

Hookers: Jaco Visagie, Adriaan Strauss, Edgar Marutlulle, Johan Grobbelaar, Jan-Henning Campher, Corniel Els (injured)

Locks: Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman (both Japan), Lood de Jager, Aston Fortuin, Ruben van Heerden, Eli Snyman, Abongile Nonkontwana

Loose Forwards: Roelof Smit, Jacques Potgieter (Japan), Hanro Liebenberg, Ruan Steenkamp (injured), Jannes Kirsten, Nic de Jager (Japan), Hendre Stassen (injured), Tim Agaba (SA Sevens), Thembelani Bholi, Shaun Adendorff, Boom Prinsloo, Marco van Staden, Denzil Hill (apprentice), Eduan Lubbe (apprentice), Jaco Bezuidenhout (apprentice), Kwezi Mafu (apprentice), Ryno Pieterse (apprentice).

Scrumhalves: Rudy Paige, Ivan van Zyl (injured), Andre Warner, Embrose Papier, Theo Maree

Flyhalves: Handre Pollard, Marnitz Boshoff, Manie Libbok, Tony Jantjies, Tinus de Beer.

Midfielders: Jesse Kriel, Dries Swanepoel, Johnny Kotze, Ulrich Beyers, Stedman Gans (SA 7s), Burger Odendaal, Francois Brummer (Japan), JT Jackson (injured).

Outside backs: Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Jamba Ulengo, Duncan Matthews, Jade Stighling, Franco Naude, Divan Rossouw, Andell Loubser (apprentice).

The Vodacom Super Rugby Management team:

Head Coach and Defense: John Mitchell

Skills, attack and kicking: Hayden Groepes

Forward Coach & Lineouts: Pote Human

Forward Coach & Scrums: Gary Botha

Baggage and Kit Master: Elias Bennett

Team Doctor: Dr Herman Rossouw

Team Physios: Lance Lemmetjies & Pieter du Plessis

Senior Rehab specialist: Juandre Williams

Strength & Conditioning Coaches: Jacus Coetzee and Ghafoer Luckan

Technical Analysist at Super Rugby: John William Meyer

SuperSport Challenge and U21:

Head Coach and Backline: David Manuel

SuperSport Challenge, U21 and U19 kicking: Divan Strydom

Forward Coach: Anton Leonard

Scrum Coach: Gary Botha

Defense: John Mitchell

Team Manager and Technical Analysist: Vainon Willis

Baggage and Kit Master: Zama Dyidi

Team Doctor: Dr Gerhard Louwrens

Team Physio: Kyle Meyer

Junior Rehab specialist: Yusuf Vahed

Strength and Conditioning Coach: Shaun du Toit

Vodacom Blue Bulls Under 19:

Head Coach and Forwards: Nollis Marais

SuperSport Challenge, U21 and U19 kicking: Divan Strydom

Backline Coach: Bevin Fortuin

Scrum Coach: Gary Botha

Defense: John Mitchell

Team Manager and Technical Analysist: Curtley Prins

Baggage and Kit Master: Akhona Faleni

Team Doctor: Dr Gerhard Lourens

Team Physio: Um’r Ismail

Junior Rehab specialist: Yusuf Vahed

Strength and Conditioning Coach: Henri-Charl Terblanche

All Professional Teams Coordinator Operations and Logistics: Hendy Seerane

Admin P.A to all professional teams: Karin Visser

Medical P.A to all professional teams: Heidi Visagie

Mental Coach and Psychologist to all professional teams: Dr Jannie Botha

Storeroom and Equipment Manager all teams: Andries Kabinde

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