The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd has released their beloved flyhalf Derick Hougaard to further his career in England where he will team up with Heyneke Meyer to play for the Leicester Tigers.
Hougaard has been absolutely brilliant for the Vodacom Blue Bulls as well Vodacom Bulls since he made his debut as a 19-year old in 2002.
He was one of the kingpins of the Blue Bulls’ Currie Cup success in 2002 and 2004 and was outstanding for the Bulls in the last five years of Super Rugby.
Hougaard, who was the best goal kicker in 2007′s as well as 2008′s Super 14 tournament, has signed a three year deal with Leicester and he will be released with immediate effect.
Hougaard says he always thought he would play for the Blue Bulls till his 30th birthday, “but this opportunity arose and I think it is a wonderful chance to test myself against the best players in the Northern Hemisphere.
“I definitely would like to play for the Bulls in the future again but I am looking forward to work with Heyneke and to compete in the Heineken Cup in the next couple of seasons.
“Heyneke always had the ability to get the best out a player and ever since I was young he backed me and it goes without saying that he had an enormous positive influence on my career.”
Hougaard said that he would like to use this opportunity to sincerely thank his loyal fans for all their support during the last seven years.
“I loved Pretoria and the fans were incredible.
“During good as well as bad times they supported me and they always encouraged me to take my game to the next level. I have been blessed to play in quite a number of Currie Cup finals as well as being part of a winning Super 14 team and I guess I don’t always realize how fortunate I have been.
“Sometimes when I think about all the great times I have had at the Bulls I am in awe of the opportunity that the Lord has given me. I have so many things to be grateful for and I will always treasure the friendships that I made at Loftus Versfeld.”
The CEO of the Leicester Tigers Peter Wheeler said he is very pleased to have signed such a good player and he believes the Premiership and Heineken Cup will suit Hougaard’s playing style perfectly.
“We were very impressed by his performances during the last year and we believe he still has many great years ahead of him.
“Derick is only 25 and he has not realized his full potential yet. He has a very good working relationship with Heyneke and I hope that we can help him to maximize his potential as a rugby player.
“We seem to be like the Bulls in that we have a wonderful family culture at the Tigers and we are looking forward to continue and foster such an environment.”
The CEO of the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Barend van Graan said Hougaard was definitely part of the Bulls’ future plans and that is why we signed him till the end of 2011.
“Leicester approached us and made us a lucrative offer.
“We considered the deal and all our role players were satisfied with the business transaction.
“It is now our responsible to bring through the next generation of flyhalves like Burton Francis, Ruan and Marnitz Boshoff as well as the current SA u20 flyhalf Francois Brummer. Morne Steyn’s contract has also being extended till 2011.
“The unique and special relationship existing between Heyneke and Derick is a well known fact and Derick has always performed at his best under the management and coaching of Heyneke.
“Derick indicated that he dearly wants to work with Heyneke again and has requested us to release him from his agreement with the Company in order to allow him to take up the employment with Leicester.
“We propose that Hougaard’s release be made conditional upon certain conditions being fulfilled.
“Derick leaves the Bulls with our best wishes. He was a huge asset for us and we wish him all the best for the future.”Tweet