When the Kings were relegated from Super Rugby last year, after a generally encouraging maiden season, it didn’t take long for the cream of their talent pool to be snapped up, with the Bulls, in particular, opting to pick over the carcass to fill the holes created by a mass post-Super Rugby exodus from Pretoria.
Of those Kings stalwarts, few remain in contention in Bulls country today, though. While it was expedient at the time to back imported players like Waylon Murray, Bandise Maku, David Bullbring and Jacques Engelbrecht over their own fabled “young corps” during last year’s Currie Cup season, only the last-named remains as a first tier Bulls player. Meanwhile, the Kings are building from scratch and the Bulls are facing yet another exodus.
History looks set to repeat itself if current talk is to be believed. Our friends from the Jacaranda-lined street of Tshwane are preparing a massive raid on another struggling Super Rugby franchise, the Cheetahs. Naka Drotske’s side have failed to build on a maiden semi-final appearance in 2013 and furthermore have already confirmed a number of foreign departures, including that of ace flyhalf Johan Goosen and exciting loose forward Philip van der Walt.
It has since emerged that captain Adriaan Strauss is all but certain to move to the Bulls next year and if the talk is to be believed, a host of other Cheetahs including Trevor Nyakane, Lappies Labuschagne, Lood de Jager and Oupa Mohoje are also very much on the list. Nyakane (WP) and Labuschagne (Sharks) apparently have other options on the table as well, but should the Bulls succeed in luring the other three, they will succeed in completely decimating a Cheetahs pack that for a change actually contains some capped Springboks.
As for the young players in whom the Bulls have invested so heavily? Well, it seems that yet another crop has failed bear the anticipated fruit, hence the need to go to the market.
And they say the Sharks are mercenaries….Tweet