Lions fans – don’t read this!
Stalwart Lions centre Jaco Pretorius has signed a contract to represent the Bulls in the 2009 Super 14. The elusive three-quarter has been a part of the Lions set-up for the last 11 years and has represented them over 80 times in first-class games. Pretorius is a former national sevens captain and was also capped for the Springboks under Jake White.
Pretorius is independently very wealthy and is one of the lucky few who can afford to play professional rugby for the love of it, rather than because he needs the money. We can probably surmise that he’s not moving to the Bulls because they’ve offered him a better deal; rather he wants to move away from the Lions because, in his own words, his career is “stagnating” in Johannesburg.
As an outside centre, Pretorius will challenge strongly for the Bulls number 13 jersey, currently the exclusive preserve of hardman JP Nel. Don’t be too surprised to see the 29-year-old flourish outside Wynand Olivier, should the latter learn how to pass during the off-season.
For the Lions, it’s a case of their woes continuing. Having already lost Tromphie Nontshigna to Griquas and Andre Pretorius to long-term injury, Pretorius, Jacque Fourie and Janno Vermaak were really the only top quality backline players in the squad. With Pretorius leaving, things are going to go from bad to worse for the Joburg team as they look to reap the rewards of the 3-year “rebuilding” program we keep hearing so much about.
A word of advice, Lions: you can’t build anything if all your players leave.Tweet