Currie Cup

Bulls confirm 4 big signings

2014-07-29 12:00
Adriaan Strauss (AFP)
Pretoria - The Blue Bulls have announce the signings of Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Pieter "Lappies" Labuschagné and Jamba Ulengo. 

All three forwards will join the Bulls on November 1, 2014, while Ulengo has already started training with the Blue Bulls ahead of the Currie Cup.

Springbok hooker Strauss, who captained the Cheetahs in recent seasons, was South Africa’s Super Rugby Player of the Year in 2013 and returns to Loftus Versfeld, where he made his Super Rugby debut in 2006, after a seven-year absence. He has signed a two year deal.

Strauss was a member of the Blue Bulls squad that shared the Currie Cup in 2006 and the Free State side that won it the next year. He became a Springbok in 2008 and has played 34 times for South Africa (with 5 tries). He is also the Cheetahs’ most experienced player with 97 caps, (added to the eight Bulls caps).

Springbok prop Nyakane has signed with the Bulls until October 2017, Springbok squad member Labuschagné signed until the end of October 2016 as did Springbok Sevens flyer Ulengo.

The 25-year-old Nyakane, who was first spotted as a youngster playing for the Limpopo Blue Bulls at Craven Week, made his provincial debut for Free State in 2011, his Super Rugby debut for the Cheetahs in 2012 and his Springbok debut in 2013. He has played four Tests and scored one try in his international career this far.

Pretoria-born Labuschagné also came through the ranks at Free State, having represented the union at schoolboy, junior and senior level, as well as playing Super Rugby for the central franchise. The 25-year old was part of the Springbok training group in 2013, but injuries in 2014 prevented him from pushing for higher honours.

Ulengo was a regular on the IRB Sevens World Series circuit, having played for the Springbok Sevens team since 2012. He is also a former Free State age group and Currie Cup player.

The Blue Bulls Company's High Performance manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, also confirmed the extension of their current contracts of the Kriel twins, Dan and Jesse, until 2016.

"We are pretty excited about these signings as all of them are proven performers at the highest level," said Janse van Rensburg.

"These players are all very keen to share in our vision of becoming the number one team in both Super Rugby and Currie Cup and to help us achieving those milestones. These are important and significant signings, as they show that we are still seen as a pathway to international honours and the winning of tournaments and cups by established, as well as emerging players," continues Janse van Rensburg.

“The decision of Adriaan to join us will not also add depth to our hooking position, but with his extensive role as captain, will also provide fantastic leadership and solid international experience.”

Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke was also very pleased to have them on board.

"We believe all of these guys will contribute significantly to our effort and vision to be a team of excellence. They will also add to potential shortcomings we have identified in our structures and I am looking forward working with players of their calibre."

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