Cape Town - Discarded Springbok utility
back Francois Hougaard will be available for the Blue Bulls in this year’s
Currie Cup competition.
Hougaard, who can play either wing or
scrumhalf, was a surprise omission from Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok squad named
Hougaard will head for Japan later in the
year, but opted to make himself available for the Currie Cup.
He and No 8 Pierre Spies have “Japan-clauses”
in their contracts and Spies opted to use his.
Spies, who was also omitted from the Bok
squad, will enjoy a short stint at the Kintetsu Liners in Japan before joining
up with former Springbok coach Jake White at Montpellier in France in February
Hougaard will head to Japan after the
Currie Cup before returning for next year’s Super Rugby competition.
“Pierre requested to be released from his
contract earlier to go and play in Japan, but Hougie decided to stay on until
the end of October. He was on leave and will start training with the team
tomorrow (Wednesday),” Bulls CEO Barend van Graan told Netwerk24.
Meanwhile, wing Bjorn Basson decided to
execute the Japan option in his contract and will leave for the Far East
shortly. He will be back for the Super Rugby season in 2016.
Blue Bulls 2015 Currie Cup squad:
Jesse Kriel (Springboks), Jurgen Visser, Jacques Rossouw, Warrick
Gelant, Riaan Britz. Injured: Duncan Matthews, Ryan Nell (both
Wing: Travis Ismaiel, Kefentse Mahlo, Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stighling
Centre: Jan Serfontein (Springboks), William Small-Smith, Dries Swanepoel, Daniel Kriel, Burger Odendaal
Flyhalf: Handre Pollard (Springboks), Tian Schoeman, Marais Schmidt, Louis Fouché
Scrumhalf: Rudy Paige (Springboks), Francois Hougaard, Carlo Engelbrecht, André Warner, Ivan van Zyl. Injured: Piet van Zyl (until 2016)
Pierre Spies*, Hanro Liebenberg, Clyde Davids, Arno Botha, Jannes
Kirsten, Deon Stegmann, Lappies Labuschagne, Roelof Smit. Injured: Ruan
Lock: Victor Matfield
(Springboks), Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg,
Jacques du Plessis, Flip van der Merwe, Jason Jenkins. Injured: Irné
Herbst (2016), Dennis Visser (September 2015).
Marcel van der Merwe (Springboks), Werner Kruger, Andrew Beerwinkel,
Nqoba Mxoli, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Trevor Nyakane (Springboks), Dean
Greyling, Morne Mellett, Justin Forwood, Neethling Fouché. Injured:
Pierre Schoeman (August)
Hooker: Adriaan Strauss (Springboks), Bandise Maku, Jaco Visagie, Corniel Els. Injured: Callie Visagie (middle August).