Springbok and Blue Bulls scrumhalf Fourie du Preez has denied that there are any divisions in the Bulls squad after it surfaced that certain players within the Bulls squad are unhappy with the conditions of their stay at their annual pre-season training camp in George.
Du Preez, who is part of a contingent of Bulls players who are not staying with the rest of the squad at the Hoerskool Outeniqua hostel, stated that no player was obliged to stay in the hostel and that no rule exists that forces players to stay in the hostel with the rest of the squad.
“As far as I know there has been no complaint in the team. There is no rule that says that we can’t stay out of hostel and, as far as I know, if we choose not to stay in the hostel, we must pay our own way. We just need to make it to training and the rest of the team functions during the time of the camp,” he said.
Du Preez, along with captain Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana, Jaco Engels, Danie Rossouw, forward coach Johan van Graan, backline coach Pieter Rossouw and coach Frans Ludeke are among those who opted not to stay in the hostel during the camp with Van Graan, spending four days outside the hostel and the rest in the hostel.
“For the past four years under Heyneke Meyer, I stayed at the hostel because I chose to, but this year I got married and I chose to stay outside with my wife. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
“I understand that there are guys who will not always be happy with everything but these are things that can be discussed at the beginning of the year when we get back to Loftus and have a review of things. Obviously, there are people who don’t like it here and they won’t like it because it is a very tough camp and we have been training hard,” Du Preez said.
However, chairperson of the Blue Bulls Old Players’ Union and a member of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union executive committee, Piet Uys, has reacted with anger to the fact that members of the Bulls squad are not all staying together.
“This can never build a team. You can’t have others players and management living separately from each other. That is not acceptable at all. Rugby is not about individuals – it is a team sport and the guys must experience things together,” said Uys.
This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on December 19, 2008Tweet