Cape Town - The Bulls started their preparations for next season's Super Rugby competition at Loftus Versfeld's B-field in Pretoria on Monday.WIN a signed Springbok jersey
And according to the Beeld
newspaper, Pierre Spies
and Chiliboy Ralepelle
are strong candidates to take over from Victor Matfield
as the new captain.
They started their early preparations without several stalwarts from the last number of seasons. Gone are Victor Matfield
, Derick Kuün and Jaco Pretorius (retired), Bakkies Botha
, Gary Botha
, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Fourie
du Preez, Danie Rossouw
(overseas) and Gerhard van den Heever, Stephan Dippenaar, Stefan Watermeyer, Francois Brummer and Jaco van der Westhuyzen (released).
However, coach Frans Ludeke will be pleased with the acquisition of stars such as Johann Sadie (centre), JJ Engelbrecht (wing) and Lionel Cronjé (flyhalf) - all signed from rivals, the Stormers.
The Bulls, on Monday, also announced the signing of Nairobi-born utility forward Daniel Adongo
from the Sharks. The 22-year-old Kenyan player has been a member of the Sharks Academy in recent years and represented the Sharks at under-19, under-21 and Vodacom Cup level, playing in all 10 of the Sharks XV's matches in 2011, and scoring three tries. Adongo will start training with his new team on Tuesday.
Spies and Ralepelle are considered the favourites to take over the captaincy role as both are experienced players certain of their place in the starting line-up.
Other captaincy candidates are Dewald Potgieter, Wilhelm Steenkamp and Wynand Olivier
, although Olivier is more likely to be named as vice-captain.
Steenkamp captained the Cheetahs in Super Rugby a few times this year and Potgieter has captained the Boks in weekday tour matches.
The Bulls will hold a press conference in Pretoria on Tuesday where Ludeke is expected to give more insight on who his captain will be.