Currie Cup

Lions lure quartet from Bulls

2014-10-28 20:30
Sampie Mastriet (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The Golden Lions have snapped up a quartet of Blue Bulls players - including two SA Under-20 stars and a Springbok Sevens player for the upcoming season as more discontent brews in Pretoria, the website reports.

The Bulls have already lost one of their rising stars, hooker Bongi Mbonambi, to Western Province earlier this year, while snapping up Boks Trevor Nyakane and Adriaan Strauss for the upcoming season as well as Cheetahs flanker Lappies Labuschagne.

But now the cross-Jukskei trek has seen the Bulls lose not only Springbok Sevens flyer Sampie Mastriet to the Lions, but also top young players Marvin Orie, Rohan Janse van Rensburg and Lohan Jacobs.

The quartet have signed for the Lions after failing to find any meaningful game time at the Bulls as the bottleneck at the top continues.

They will join former Bulls players Courtnal Skosan, Robbie Coetzee, Franco Mostert, Warwick Tecklenburg and Marnitz Boshoff at Ellis Park. Since leaving the Bulls, both Coetzee and Boshoff have received Springbok call-ups.

Mastriet probably had the most game time for the Bulls, but despite starring in a handful of appearances in Super Rugby, he was left out of the touring squad for the past two years. His appearances in the Currie Cup were also few and far between.

Janse van Rensburg, who was the SA Under-20 midfielder and a product of Waterkloof, would have had his decision made easy by the fact the Bulls decided to play flyhalf Handre Pollard in the No 12 jersey for the Currie Cup semi-final when Burger Odendaal was injured, even though Janse van Rensburg was next in line and was having an exceptional season with the Under-21 side.

A strong ball carrier, the midfielder will fit into the Lions' expansive game plan perfectly and even though he is highly rated, the Bulls are set to leapfrog him with the twin brothers of Jesse and Daniel Kriel next year.

Orie led Tuks to their Varsity Cup title in 2013, and is considered one of the rising stars in South African rugby. He was part of the 2012 SA Under-20 team that won the IRB Junior World Championship and was set to lead the Junior Boks when he suffered a horrible leg injury.

There is no doubt that Orie has seen the game time given to his former team-mate Mostert at the Lions and with Grant Hattingh, the return of Victor Matfield and Flip van der Merwe all still under contract, the chances of him playing Super Rugby next year are slim. While Orie is the only one who hasn’t signed a contract at the time of writing, he has told team-mates he has made his mind up and wants to leave the Bulls, with the Lions busy with final touches on his contract.

The final member of the quartet is the blond scrumhalf Lohan Jacobs, who represented the Blue Bulls at all age-group levels from Under-13 and made his Currie Cup debut in 2011, with the former Affies halfback also part of the Junior Bok squad in 2010 and the Tuks team that won Varsity Cup.

Bulls High Performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg didn’t respond to requests for comment on the players leaving.


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