Rayno Gerber will quit the Bulls at the end of the Super 14 and join up with French club Stade Francais.
The tighthead prop, who previously played for the Cheetahs and English club Leeds, won’t renew his Bulls contract when it runs out in May.
JJ Harmse writes for Rapport that the Bulls have already lost the likes of Wikus van Heerden (Saracens) and Derick Hougaard (Leicester). Gerber’s decision is a setback, even if there are a number of young guns waiting to come through.
Werner Kruger, 24, has previously played Super rugby for the Bulls and is likely to take over from Gerber in future.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke conceded the loss of Gerber was a setback.
“Yes, we’ll definitely miss him. He’s a senior player and it’s never good to lose them. I understand why he’s going because Rayno also has to consider life after rugby. It’s a fact of life in South Africa that the currency exchange rate is unfavourable,” said Ludeke.
“Fortunately we have time to find a replacement before next year’s Super14. We’ll have a look at players that want to return from overseas, but also have guys coming through locally.
“We are very happy with Werner’s progress. Frik Kirsten has been pulled into our development programme and Ruan Vermeulen had a strong season in Italy.”
Ludeke indicated that his junior players would get lots of opportunities in the warm-up games against the Lions in Johannesburg (Saturday), the Cheetahs in Polokwane (January 30) and Sharks in Durban (February 4).
The loss of Gerber could open the Springbok door for CJ van der Linde. He would like to return to South Africa to be considered for the Test series against the British and Irish Lions.Tweet