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    Bulls boost flyhalf stocks

    2014-01-24 11:21
    Jacques-Louis Potgieter (Gallo Images)

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Pretoria - Jacques-Louis Potgieter will make a welcome return to Loftus Versfeld next week after signing a two-year deal to return to the Bulls ahead of this year’s Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

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    According to the website, Potgieter, who went to school at Affies, and then continued through the Bulls' ranks to make his debut for the province in 2007, is currently with French side Bayonne and will move back to Pretoria to add to the team’s depth ahead of a long and taxing season.

    The Bulls have two flyhalves in their squad at the moment - Louis Fouche currently has the inside track at the starting role for the No 10 jersey, while talented youngster Handre Pollard is widely seen as the player to take the mantle going forward for the team.

    But Super Rugby seasons can be hard schools to learn in, and for this reason it seems the Bulls have decided that three flyhalves are better than two.

    While Jurgen Visser can cover at flyhalf and Tony Jantjies is also on the fringes of the squad, Potgieter’s arrival will bring experience and maturity to the role, and create a healthy sense of competition within the squad.

    The Bulls have not confirmed the signing, with High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg saying the addition of a third flyhalf is “currently just speculation" and "a possibility that we are exploring.”

    But sources in France have confirmed that Potgieter has already received permission from Bayonne to make the move and will arrive in Pretoria on Tuesday to join the team on Wednesday next week.

    The 29-year old played two seasons of Super Rugby for the Cheetahs before returning to Pretoria in 2010, where he was rotated with Morne Steyn at flyhalf.

    At the end of the season, Potgieter made a move to the Sharks, where he spent the 2011 season before moving to Bayonne in the second half of the year.

    While the Bulls have lost several high-profile players since last year’s Super Rugby, they have declined to go on a recruiting drive, signing only Springbok scrumhalf Piet van Zyl from the Cheetahs and backing their youthful talent in their structures.

    In addition to this they are likely to have Victor Matfield return from retirement to play for them this season in a bid to make it to the 2015 World Cup, while a host of injured players - including Boks Pierre Spies, Arno Botha and Francois Hougaard - will return to action for the team this month.

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