Rugby

Hougaard available for Currie Cup

2015-07-01 07:23
Francois Hougaard (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Discarded Springbok utility back Francois Hougaard will be available for the Blue Bulls in this year’s Currie Cup competition.

Hougaard, who can play either wing or scrumhalf, was a surprise omission from Heyneke Meyer’s Springbok squad named last week.

Hougaard will head for Japan later in the year, but opted to make himself available for the Currie Cup.

He and No 8 Pierre Spies have “Japan-clauses” in their contracts and Spies opted to use his.

Spies, who was also omitted from the Bok squad, will enjoy a short stint at the Kintetsu Liners in Japan before joining up with former Springbok coach Jake White at Montpellier in France in February next year.

Hougaard will head to Japan after the Currie Cup before returning for next year’s Super Rugby competition.

“Pierre requested to be released from his contract earlier to go and play in Japan, but Hougie decided to stay on until the end of October. He was on leave and will start training with the team tomorrow (Wednesday),” Bulls CEO Barend van Graan told Netwerk24.

Meanwhile, wing Bjorn Basson decided to execute the Japan option in his contract and will leave for the Far East shortly. He will be back for the Super Rugby season in 2016.

Blue Bulls 2015 Currie Cup squad:

Fullback: Jesse Kriel (Springboks), Jurgen Visser, Jacques Rossouw, Warrick Gelant, Riaan Britz. Injured: Duncan Matthews, Ryan Nell (both September)

Wing: Travis Ismaiel, Kefentse Mahlo, Jamba Ulengo, Jade Stighling

Centre: Jan Serfontein (Springboks), William Small-Smith, Dries Swanepoel, Daniel Kriel, Burger Odendaal   

Flyhalf: Handre Pollard (Springboks), Tian Schoeman, Marais Schmidt, Louis Fouché     

Scrumhalf: Rudy Paige (Springboks), Francois Hougaard, Carlo Engelbrecht, André Warner, Ivan van Zyl. Injured: Piet van Zyl (until 2016)

Loose Forward: Pierre Spies*, Hanro Liebenberg, Clyde Davids, Arno Botha, Jannes Kirsten, Deon Stegmann, Lappies Labuschagne, Roelof Smit. Injured: Ruan Steenkamp (August).

Lock: Victor Matfield (Springboks), Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jacques du Plessis, Flip van der Merwe, Jason Jenkins. Injured: Irné Herbst (2016), Dennis Visser (September 2015).

Props: Marcel van der Merwe (Springboks), Werner Kruger, Andrew Beerwinkel, Nqoba Mxoli, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Trevor Nyakane (Springboks), Dean Greyling, Morne Mellett, Justin Forwood, Neethling Fouché. Injured: Pierre Schoeman (August)

Hooker: Adriaan Strauss (Springboks), Bandise Maku, Jaco Visagie, Corniel Els. Injured: Callie Visagie (middle August).

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