Bulls play down mass exodus
Cape Town - It's not a case of "will the last player to leave Pretoria please turn off the lights", if the Blue Bulls Company is to be believed...
It was reported earlier this week that no fewer than five current Bulls players - Pierre Spies, Francois Hougaard, JJ Engelbrecht, Akona Ndungane and Deon Stegmann - will be heading for Japan at the end of the season.
However, Xander Janse van Rensburg, the High Performance Manager at the Blue Bulls Company, confirmed to the Rugby365 website that the reports aren't all in fact true.
Engelbrecht (and Grant Hattingh) will head to Japan after the current Super Rugby season, missing the Currie Cup competition later this year, but will then return for Super Rugby in 2016.
PIERRE SPIES/FRANCOIS HOUGAARD
The offers to Spies and Hougaard are for just one Japanese season, meaning, should they accept, they will in all likelihood miss the opening rounds of next season's Super Rugby, depending on how their respective teams fare.
Both players are waiting for finality on their Springbok contracts and the Rugby World Cup.
Ndungane, 34, will not be heading for Japan, but in fact will be retiring.
No confirmation as to where Stegmann will be plying his trade after this year's Super Rugby tournament.
Meanwhile, in addition to the players mentioned above, lock Flip van der Merwe has long since informed the Bulls that he will be departing the union after this year's Currie Cup and heading for Clermont in France.
Loose forward Jacques du Plessis, 21, will be also be heading for France - and Jake White's Montpellier - later this year. The former Baby Bok will miss at least two Currie Cup seasons and one Super Rugby tournament.