Kruger set for emotional Loftus goodbye
Cape Town - Werner Kruger has been an absolute mainstay at Loftus since signing for the Bulls all the way back in 2003.
Since then, he has been capped 119 times in Super Rugby - winning three titles in the process - while he has over 130 Currie Cup caps to his name.
But on Saturday when the Bulls host the Sunwolves it will be the last time that the 31-year-old runs out onto the Loftus pitch.
He is off to Scarlets in Wales, which makes Saturday's match an emotional one even if it is against low-key opposition and unlikely to effect the greater scheme of things in the competition.
"It’s a bit of an emotional week. I’ve been here for quite a
long time … almost 13 years," Kruger said.
"I'm excited to get a start on the weekend and just
enjoying it for the last time at Loftus.
"When you walk in here at Loftus as a 19-year-old and you
just want to get one game. And then one becomes two and now you look back and
you’ve got more than 100 in each competition.
"It’s a proud moment, and
especially to be the first guy at the Bulls to do it. It’s very special for
Coach Nollis Marais was also full of praise for his tighthead prop.
"Werner said to me from the beginning that he would give me
his backing," said Marais.
"All credit to Werner. We played some youngsters in front of him
and he stuck it out and helped them through.
"He’s a credit to the brand. As a
person, he just keeps on fighting and he helped settle the youngsters. I just
want to tell Werner thanks and I appreciate it."
The Bulls need the Sharks to lose against the Cheetahs in Durban on Saturday if they are to have any chance of making the play-offs.
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Burger Odendaal, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Nqoba Mxoli, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Hanro Liebenberg, 20 Grant Hattingh, 21 Arno Botha, 22 Rudy Paige, 23 Tian Schoeman