Bulls confirm Kings 'clean out'
One of the worst-kept secrets in South Africa has been confirmed, with the Blue Bulls admitting to having raided the Southern Kings' ranks.
Even though it was widely reported that four of the Kings' top players – centre Waylon Murray, hooker Bandise Maku, loose forward Jacques Engelbrecht and lock David Bullbring – would head to Pretoria, the Bulls remained largely silent.
The players all confirmed it in the social media, but the Bulls only confirmed Murray's arrival.
On Thursday the Bulls finally caved in and confirmed the arrival of the other three ahead of the Currie Cup season.
Maku, Engelbrecht and Bullbring will join up with Murray "with immediate effect" and will be available to the team's Currie Cup campaign.
They have been released by the Kings and will officially join the Blue Bulls on Sunday, August 11.
Maku, a one-Test Springbok who won the Super Rugby title with the Bulls in 2010 and the Currie Cup with the Golden Lions in 2011, has signed for three years and will remain with the union till October 2016.
Engelbrecht, who has represented the Springbok Sevens team earlier in his career, has also signed till 31 October 2016.
Bullbring, who turns 24 next month, played Super Rugby with the Lions and Southern Kings and has also signed till October 2016.
Bulls High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg also confirmed on Thursday that hooker Callie Visagie has been granted an immediate release from the Golden Lions and will join the BBC till October 2016.
Visagie has been on loan from the Lions for the Super Rugby season, but this now becomes a permanent move.
"With the Southern Kings not qualifying for the 2014 Super Rugby tournament, these players became available and we are pretty pleased to get them to sign with us," Janse van Rensburg said.
"Bandise and Callie will step in the breach left by the departing Chiliboy Ralepelle, David will fill the gap left by Juandre Kruger and Jacques will take over the role played by the two Potgieters.
"Waylon Murray, who joined us earlier in the week will add depth to our midfield ranks where the exit of Wynand Olivier and Francois Venter made us a bit thin on experience."