'There is a special feeling in the air' as White reveals his Bulls squad
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White is confident his squad will have enough depth to compete on all fronts during the 2023/2024 season.
On Wednesday, the Bulls boss confirmed his player roster and management team for the new season.
White will have 57 players ready to do service across three competitions, namely the United Rugby Championship, Champions Cup and the Currie Cup. They will be supported by a management cohort of 17 coaches, sports scientists and other support personnel.
They will be supported by a management cohort of 17 coaches, sports scientists and other support personnel.
The Bulls have been busy in the transfer window with Willie le Roux, Akker van der Merwe, Wilco Louw, Jannes Kirsten, Sebastian de Klerk, Jaco van der Walt, Henry Immelman, Sergeal Petersen and Khutha Mchunu all joining the franchise.
Pumas duo Devon Williams and Deon Slabbert have joined the squad on loan.
Headlining the new coaches in the group is former Springbok assistant coach Gary Gold.
Commenting on his roster for the season ahead, White said: “There is a special feeling in the air at Loftus at the moment, perhaps because we are all enjoying our pre-season work and collectively looking forward to what promises to be an exciting season of rugby ahead.
“Our new recruits have already added fresh energy to our base and they have been warmly welcomed by the rest of the group, which is wonderful as we look to build a wonderful brotherhood amongst all the players and management alike.
“We know the season will be long and to keep consistency all the way through will be vital for our campaign and this is why we have expanded our squad, to make sure we are not found wanting in certain periods and also be able to make like-for-like replacements when need be. Our recruitment has been intentional in making sure we find additional resources that will be able to help us get as close as possible to the goals and targets that we have in place. Some of the guys joining us also bring international experience, which will bode well for the season ahead.”
White added: “Fortunately, the players also have an experienced coaching unit to tap into and try to learn as much as they can, so that they are in a better place and have that competitive advantage compared to their opponents in the new season.”
On the establishment of the skills hub, which will be run by Kennedy Tsimba and Phiwe Nomlomo, the Bulls mentor said that it was another step forward for the franchise, looking to exploit any gains possible that will make a difference in match situations.
“Phiwe and Kennedy are championing a department that should help us establish a competitive advantage as we look to have a roster of players – from juniors through to the seniors – who are leaving nothing to chance on the field, executing their roles at optimal levels throughout because these leagues need us to be absolutely crazy about accuracy.
“The two will play a pivotal role in helping us keep our entire roster honest and also ensuring that they are always putting their best foot forward with measurable results on the table. Both Phiwe and Kennedy bring experience that cannot be limited to just the skills hub and therefore they will both be involved with hands-on coaching with some of the teams.
“This is an exciting time for me as a coach, watching the guys bond, work so hard behind the scenes and really show their unitedness as we upskill ourselves. I truly think we are on the right path and the strides we are hitting, will put us in a good place come the start of the season.”
Bulls 2023/24 squad: