Bulls forward off to England

2012-03-20 18:36

Johannesburg - Bulls utility forward Gerrit-Jan van Velze will join English Premiership club Northampton Saints on July 1, the union announced on Tuesday.

"After successful negotiations with the English Premiership club, the 24-year-old player has been released by the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd to join the Saints in three months time," the Bulls said in a statement.

Van Velze represented the Bulls in Super Rugby, but left a real mark as captain of the Blue Bulls' Vodacom Cup team, which he captained to two titles.

He also captained the South African Under-21 side in 2007, earning a nomination as the International Rugby Board's U-21 Player of the Year.

Commenting on his decision, Van Velze said it was the right opportunity at the right time in his career.

"I had some wonderful times at the Bulls and will always be thankful for that," Van Velze said.

"I see this as another chapter and challenge in my career where I can continue to grow as a player and develop my skills.

"Northampton is one of the great clubs in Europe and I am keen to contribute to their objectives."

Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke said it was sad to see Van Velze leave.

"We understand and respect his reasons for moving on and wish him well," said Ludeke.

"He has been part of our structures for a long time and is well respected for his leadership and dedication to hard work.

"We will never stand in the way of our players exploring opportunities elsewhere and I can honestly say that Gerrit-Jan will leave here as a friend. We might see him back in future."

Van Velze has until now played 59 times for the Blues Bulls in Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup and had one start for the Bulls in Super Rugby.


  • Stormkaap - 2012-03-20 18:43

    Noe this is Bulls stupidity.. Better Loosie than Spies..

  • Priester - 2012-03-20 20:13

    A Sad day for Bulls rugby indeed. He is an excellent player with huge potential. Wishing him all the best for the future. Blou Bul Groete!

  • S - 2012-03-20 22:48

    Like rats leaving a sinking ship...

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-20 22:57

      Like Sadie and Engelbrecht?

      S - 2012-03-20 23:07

      No, those two were culled, the talent pool got too big :D

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-20 23:12

      Talent pool?

      S - 2012-03-20 23:36

      Yes, that thing in the Western Cape where all the talented Bulls players come from.

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-21 01:44

      No, the only pool in the Western Cape is a cesspool. By the way, the Bulls players come from all over the country.

      WP - 2012-03-21 07:23

      @Stirrer,true words my friend !

      coolshoesouthafrica - 2012-03-21 11:28

      everywhere but Pretoria

  • WP - 2012-03-21 07:25

    Dit lyk of hy iets saam met Joost gesnuif het

      Lara - 2012-03-21 08:14

      Ja, jou onderbroek.

  • WP - 2012-03-21 09:01

    As ek pienk moes dra sou ek ook gevlug het!

  • Michael - 2012-03-21 12:08

    Absolutely ludicrous. This young lad is such a promising rugby player with a stellar future. Let's hope that someone come to their senses and one of our 'big' unions gives him a local contact, fellows like this will ensure high quality continuity for the Springbok brand.

  • attie - 2012-03-21 12:13

    Dis 'n goeie besluit hierdie vir hom. Met Spies, Stegmann, die 2 Potgieters, Arno Botha, CJ Stander en Tecklenberg gaan hy nie maklik plek kry nie.

  • clivegoss - 2012-03-21 16:22

    Experience is like a toothpick. It is for personal use. Van Velze will return with more experience and be an all round better rugby player. Julle moet ophou met julle gatvas sinnelose kommentaar.

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