Jake: Everybody should buy like we do
There is a classic saying: ‘Jealousy makes you nasty.’
This seems to apply to many of the Bulls’ detractors, as they head into another Currie Cup Final.
The Pretoria outfit booked their place in the 2021 Currie Cup Final with a 48-31 demolition of a willing, but outclassed, Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
They host the Final at the same venue next week, with the Sharks and Griquas going head-to-head on Saturday for the ‘privilege’ of the trip to Fort Loftus next week.
Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White has received plenty of criticism for his recruitment policy since he arrived in Pretoria in 2020.
His team has dominated the South African landscape.
He said all the talk about the Bulls ‘buying success’ is applesauce.
White reiterated messages previously uttered by the Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone and President Willem Strauss that the landscape is ‘exactly the same for every franchise in South Africa’.
“You can spend ZAR60-million,” White said on a virtual media briefing, adding: “You can do your recruiting from anywhere in the world.”
He said when players come out of contract, his job is to determine if they are available to join the Bulls.
“I am very blessed, very fortunate and humbled by the fact that a lot of guys want to come to the Bulls,” White said.
“They see the same vision and mission we have.”
The Bulls Director of Rugby said their goal is to become the best ‘club’ side in the world.
“If that means you win, that is fantastic.
“The goal is for every franchise to recruit the best players, the best staff, to win as many trophies as you can.”
He said this way of operating is not unique to rugby.
“[Cristiano] Ronald signed for Manchester United the other day,” he said of the very active soccer transfer market.
“The world of sport is about getting the best players, creating the best teams and creating legacies.
“That’s what we want to do. You want to make sure that the Bulls supporters, Sharks supporters, Lions supporters, Free State are proud of their teams.
“We need to ensure our supporters support us week in and week out by winning as many times as we can.”
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* Meanwhile White admitted they are ‘in talks’ with World Cup-winning Springbok hooker Bismarck du Plessis, but nothing has been finalised.
The 37-year-old former Springbok hooker, who played 79 Tests, has returned from a lengthy stint in France and is now enjoying some R&R on the family farm in the Free State.
“We haven’t completed that signing by any means,” White said.
“We’ve had meetings. But yeah, Bismarck is the calibre of player that we want here.
“I’ve said numerous times that it’s tough competition in the Northern Hemisphere and you’re going to need experienced players who’ve been exposed to those conditions.
“It’s important to have a guy like him involved.”
Du Plessis played for French club Montpellier when White coached them between 2014 and 2017.