Cape Town - The Blue Bulls have responded after Western Province Director of Rugby Gert Smal criticised the Pretoria-based union for trying to sign a number of young WP players.
Smal last week hit out at the Bulls after they sent a letter to WP stating their interest in signing 62 top Western Cape schools rugby players.
Smal told Netwerk24: "It's clear that the Bulls don't have faith in their own school system or players. It creates the impression that there's no development taking place there. I'd like to know how schools players over there feel about it."
According to SA Rugby regulations, a union has to inform the other if it wants to sign schools players within the other's region.
The Bulls, via their High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg, said they will always look within their own region first before searching elsewhere for talent.
Janse van Rensburg said it's highly unlikely that they will end up signing all 62 players mentioned in their letter to WP.
"Annually, we sign between 30 and 35 players at Under-19 level. Our budget does not allow us to sign more players."
The most prominent recent example of the Bulls luring a talented young WP player to Pretoria was when Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard was signed while still at school.