Bulls name training squad
Johannesburg - The Bulls named a squad of 37 players to assemble in Pretoria early in January for a training camp to be held at Sun City, North West, during the weekend of January 10 to 12.
The squad was named after three weeks of pre-season training at Loftus Versfeld in preparation for next year's Super Rugby season.
Despite losing a number of experienced players from their 2013 campaign to overseas clubs, the squad still consists of 14 Springboks and no less than eight players who have won the Super Rugby title with the Bulls in the past.
In releasing the names, Bulls' coach Frans Ludeke expressed satisfaction on the pre-season effort from the players.
"The guys work really hard over the last couple of weeks and I am happy with the progress we have made," Ludeke said in a statement on Friday.
"We came up short in the semi-finals of the competition this year, so the squad is really determined to go one better next year.
"We have a good mix of experience and youth and I am looking forward to the contributions we can expect from our younger generation of players next year."
Bulls' captain Pierre Spies praised the structures and culture of hard work at the franchise.
"It made it easy for the younger guys to fit in and we could start working toward our goals immediately," Spies said.
"It was also very pleasing to see that the older players still have the desire to work hard, so I think we are in a good spot with regards to our preparation for next year.
"The guys will enjoy the short break before we join up again."
The Bulls confirmed that Grant Hattingh and Jono Ross had extended their contracts with the union till the end of October 2016.
Props: Morne Mellett, Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten, Werner Kruger, Marcel van der Merwe.
Hookers: Callie Visagie, Bandise Maku, Bongi Mbonambi.
Locks: Flip van der Merwe, Paul Willemse, Grant Hattingh, David Bulbring.
Loose forwards: Deon Stegman, Wiaan Liebenberg, Arno Botha, Jacques Engelbrecht, Jacques du Plessis, Pierre Spies, Jono Ross.
Scrumhalves: Francois Hougaard, Piet van Zyl, Rudy Paige.
Flyhalves: Louis Fouche, Handre Pollard.
Midfield: Jan Serfontein, Waylon Murray, JJ Engelbrecht, William Small-Smith.
Outside backs: Bjorn Basson, Akona Ndungane, Sampie Mastriet, Travis Ismaiel, Jurgen Visser, Jesse Kriel, Clayton Blommetjies.
Utility backs: Ryan Nell, Ulrich Beyers.