Bulls say 'farewell' to stalwart
REACTION: His departure is not news, but the Bulls have formally bid farewell to the first player to take up the 21-day option to cancel his contract.
The on Thursday officially bid farewell to Japan-bound Johnny Kotze, the first player to formally take up the option to tear up his contract once the 21-day clause was announced last month.
According to an agreement between the players union MyPlayers and SA Rugby, players have 21 days (With May 14 the deadline) to decide if their want to seek alternative employment abroad as a result of the drastic salary cuts introduced as a result of the COVID-19-enforced lockdown.
Kotze, whose preferred position is at outside centre and is also very comfortable on the wing, was one of the more consistent starters over the last few years.
He displayed an amazing overall workrate, with seven line breaks in this year’s Super Rugby season thus far (six games).
The hard-running centre also boasted an amazing tackle rate of 84 percent, with a 70 percent gain-line success rate.
He started his career at Western Province, before moving up to Loftus in 2017, also having served a brief off-season stint with the Ospreys at the end of 2018.
Alfons Meyer, CEO of the Blue Bulls Company expressed his gratitude for Kotze’s loyal service.
“Johnny is the epitome of a team man, and was willing to do whatever was needed for the team,” Meyer said.
“I’d like to sincerely thank him for being part of this Bulls family, and for committing the last few years to us. We wish him all the best with his future endeavours, and have no doubt that he will make a massive impact at his new club The Shimizu Blue Sharks in Japan.”
Kotze thanked the Bulls for the journey thus far..
“You always hear people describe life as a journey,” Kotze said.
“It is at a time like this that one realizes just how true that statement is. I’ve truly enjoyed my time at the Bulls, and have met some amazing people here… people that I would hope to call friends for the rest of my life. Thank you to everybody at the #BullsFamily that has contributed to my career thus far and made my stay at Loftus one that I will never forget.”
Kotze, as always, finished with a smile and friendly little chirp.
“I look forward to catching up with my Bulls mates in years to come, and reminiscing about our good old rugby days… I may even teach them how to make sushi then.”