REVEALED: Jake White on why 'Sheep' is back at Loftus
REACTION: It was probably one of the worst-kept secrets, but the Bulls have confirmed the return of a seasoned European-based utility forward.
The Blue Bulls Company on Wednesday confirmed the signing of loose forward Jacques du Plessis from French club, Montpellier, effective July 1, on a three-year deal.
The French club revealed this past weekend that they have given Du Plessis an early release from his contract.
His deal with the French outfit – who he represented in more than 100 games – was initially scheduled to end in June 2022.
There was talk that he could move to Durban and join the Sharks – who showed interest in his services.
However, the Bulls won the race for the Pongola-born forward’s services.
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The 27-year-old Du Plessis, affectionately known as Sheep, started his professional career at Loftus Versfeld – where he made his Super Rugby (31 caps) and Currie Cup (30 caps) debuts in 2013.
He also represented the Blue Bulls at Under-19 and Under-21 level.
The former Junior Springbok and SA Schools flank, who can play at lock with ease, moved to Montpellier at the end of 2015 – where he went on to earn more than 100 caps for the French Top 14 club.
Du Plessis was renowned for his uncompromising play and ferocious tackling while at Loftus Versfeld and cemented his style of play while in France.
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Ｃｏｍｍｕｎｉｑｕé ｏｆｆｉｃｉｅｌ 🚨
À la demande de Jacques DU PLESSIS, le Montpellier Hérault Rugby officialise son départ, initialement prévu en juin 2022
— Montpellier Rugby (@MHR_officiel) April 11, 2021
“Having Jacques return to Loftus is testament to what we’re trying to establish in Pretoria,” Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White said.
“This is a franchise where players want to be!
“His ability to play as a loose forward and lock give us depth amongst the forwards.
“Jacques is an extremely physical and uncompromising player, and we’re looking forward to his contributions in the blue jersey.”