New Bulls director of rugby Jake White is reportedly keen on luring Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse to Pretoria.
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According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, the Bulls are hoping to use their connection with businessman Johann Rupert, whose company Remgro is a shareholder in the Blue Bulls Company, to convince Willemse to leave the Cape for Pretoria.
Willemse has a history with the Rupert family, with Sport24 reporting in 2018 how Johann Rupert’s daughter, Caroline, had played a major role in helping a young Willemse attend Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch. He became the first player of colour from the school to become a Springbok.
The report also added that White was keen on signing Stormers centre Rikus Pretorius. The former Junior Springbok star’s contract with the Stormers expires in October.
Since his appointment late last month, White has indicated his desire to lure several frontline players to Loftus Versfeld and it was also reported that former Springbok and Stormers utility back Gio Aplon could play for the Blue Bulls in this year’s Currie Cup, while Cheetahs lock Sintu Manjezi is also believed to be on the Bulls’ radar.
White will replace Pote Human as Bulls head coach for next year’s Super Rugby tournament.
White won the Rugby World Cup with the Springboks in 2007 and also coached teams like the Brumbies (Australia), Sharks (South Africa), Montpellier (France) and Toyota Verblitz (Japan).
When the 2020 season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bulls were 12th in the overall Super Rugby standings, having won just one out of six matches.
– Compiled by Herman Mostert