Bulls star Ismaiel heading to Harlequins
Cape Town - English club Harlequins have announced the signing of Springbok wing Travis Ismaiel from the
According to the Harlequins website, the 27-year-old is a hugely powerful and dominant player who
has come through the ranks at the Bulls playing for the Blue Bulls in
their Under-19 and Under-21 teams before making his first class debut in 2013
against Griquas. He went on to make seven appearances in that campaign,
scoring six tries. That same season he featured in the Currie Cup.
His Super Rugby debut came in 2015 against the Sharks and he went on to earn 39 Super Rugby Caps, scoring 50 points.
He scored on his international debut for South Africa in the 2018
friendly against Wales in Washington DC and prior to earning full
international honours he also represented South Africa A in their
two-match series against England Saxons in 2016.
Ismaiel is just one of many players to have departed the Bulls in recent weeks.
In addition to Ismaiel, the top South African side in this year's Super Rugby tournament look likely to lose all of Jesse Kriel, Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman, Duane
Vermeulen (all to Japan), Handre Pollard (Montpellier), Lood de Jager
(Sale Sharks), Eli Snyman (Treviso) and
Hanro Liebenberg (Leicester Tigers) to overseas deals.
Harlequins Head of Rugby Paul Gustard commented: “I have been
enquiring about Travis for a couple of months now since we lost Nathan
Earle to a nasty injury against Saints last season.
“I was over on holiday in South Africa in the summer with my family
and I took the opportunity over a couple of days to meet his agent,
speak to Travis and meet some players who knew him and all the feedback I
received was that he is such an impressive individual with huge
coachability and some real X-Factor.
“To be capped in such a competitive position in South Africa allied
to boasting a very impressive try scoring record in Super Rugby of
almost 1 in 2 is great news for the club. What isn’t great news for me
was I had to buy my wife a new handbag to compensate for lost holiday
“I have no doubt he will be a huge presence on the pitch for us with
his excellent aerial skills. He is fast and is a big man who enjoys
“We will look for him to work hard to get his hands on the ball as
much as we can because, like all our wings, they have magic in them, and
we want them to show the league why they are so special.
“Initially he comes as injury dispensation for Nathan, but we see
real potential for growth in Travis, so we have signed him on a longer
contract to maximise his development. On behalf of the club we welcome
Travis, his wife Zaylin and his children Connor and Kiara.”
Ismaiel added: “I am very excited to be joining a club like Quins with such a rich rugby history.
“There is a clear excitement when speaking to Gussy with regards to
the culture they have at the Club and what they are looking to achieve
over the next couple of seasons.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work with the boys and can’t wait
to contribute to the team in any way possible. Me and my family can’t
wait for this new chapter in our lives and we are looking forward to
experiencing a new culture and way of living and I’m sure Quins is the
right place to do that.”