Bulls give reasons for off-loading Bok wing
Cape Town - An investment in the futures of Jamba Ulengo and Travis Ismaiel is the reason the Bulls decided not to extend the contract of Springbok wing Bjorn Basson.
It came as a shock over the weekend when the Stormers announced the signing of the 11-Test capped wing.
The 30-year-old had played 86 Super Rugby games for the Bulls between 2011 and 2016. Before that, the played nine Super-games for the Cheetahs and boasts 35 tries in the competition.
However, he had played second fiddle in Pretoria in recent times, with Ulengo and Ismaiel the preferred starters out wide.
Regarding the Bulls’ decision to off-load Basson, the franchise’s High Performance Manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg, told Netwert24: “Travis and Jamba are in our long-term plans and it would not have made sense to extend the contract of a Springbok when he’s not a certain starter.”
According to Janse van Rensburg, the Basson was not part of the Bulls' 2017 Super Rugby preparations and already left the team after the 2016 Currie Cup.
The Stormers are happy to sign the player though, especially after promising wing Leolin Zas broke his leg in a pre-season match against the Lions at the weekend.
"Bjorn is a versatile player whose record speaks for itself and we are excited to add another player with proven quality," Director of Rugby Gert Smal said via a press statement.
According to Smal, Basson's skillset and experience will be significant boost just before the season gets underway.
"In Bjorn we have a player comfortable on the wing or at fullback who is one of the best around under the high ball. The influence he will have on our young outside backs cannot be underestimated," said Smal.
Basson said that he is excited to be joining the Stormers and is looking forward to making an impact at Newlands.
"It is great for me to be here and I cannot wait to get onto the pitch and make a difference for the team.”
Basson made his Test debut against Wales in Cardiff in 2010 and his last international appearance was against Argentina in Mendoza in 2013.