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Kurt-Lee bags five awards

AWARDS: Springbok star Kurt-Lee Arendse was the big winner at the Bulls’ awards ceremony on Tuesday.

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Arendse claimed a whopping five awards as the creative, dynamic and unrelenting speedster was rewarded for an impressive season which is still continuing on the international stage.

The 27-year-old utility back was named both the Players’ Player of the Year and the Fans’ Player of the Year winner via a majority count of the votes cast through the Bulls App. He was also crowned as the overall Player of the Year for the 2022/23 season.

Arendse also claimed Champions Cup Backline Player of the Year and Champions Cup Player of the Year awards.

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The Forward Player of the Year award for the Bulls’ European voyage went to Johan Grobbelaar who accumulated 156 minutes of play from three matches played, making 28 tackles and scoring a try (against Exeter Chiefs) as the Bulls made quite the impressive debut in the competition. Grobbelaar also walked away with the award for the most improved player.

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Ruan Nortje, who led the team for much of the 2022/23 season, was honoured as the United Rugby Championship Forward Player of the Year after the 25-year-old had an impressive campaign. In the 19 matches that Nortje featured in during the competition, he made 147 carries on attack whilst finishing with a defensive tackle success rate of 87 percent in the 168 tackles he made, which ranks him eighth overall in the competition.

David Kriel, who finished last season of the United Rugby Championship with the most clean breaks (23) in the entire competition whilst his 846 metres gained ranks him third overall, won the Bulls URC Backline Player of the Year Award. Kriel was up against Springbok stars, Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse for the award.

Newly capped Springbok, Gerhard Steenekamp was named the Bulls URC Player of the Year for his consistent season, which was capped by him earning a national call-up to become the 150th Bulls player to become a Bok. Steenekamp’s season in the competition has seen him rake up a 91 percent tackle success rate from the 96 tackles made whilst he also ranks up high amongst the forwards pack on attack, making 96 successful carries.

In the Currie Cup, scrumhalf, Embrose Papier walked away the big winner, claiming both the Backline Player of the Year and overall Player of the Year Awards after a stellar 2023 campaign in the oldest rugby competition in the world and South Africa’s Premier Rugby Competition. Jan-Hendrik Wessels won the Forward Player of the Year award.

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FULL LIST OF THE 2022/23 BULLS AWARD WINNERS:

Bulls Daisies Player of the Year: Rights Mkhari
Bulls Daisies Players Player of the Year: Byrhandre Dolf
Bulls Daisies Forward Player of the Year: Sinelitha Noxeke
Bulls Daisies Backline Player of the Year: Libbie Jansen van Rensburg

Bulls Under-19s – 2023
Bulls U19 Forward Player of the Year: Lukas Meyer
Bulls U19 Backline Player of the Year: Alfondso Isaacs
Bulls U19 Player of the Player: Steven Nel

Bulls Under-20s – 2023
Bulls U20 Forward Player of the Year: Juann Else
Bulls U20 Backline Player of the Year: Katlego Letebele
Bulls U20 Player of the Player: Neels Volschenk

Bulls Under-19s – 2022
Bulls U19 Forward Player of the Year: Abulele Ndabambi
Bulls U19 Backline Player of the Year: Neil Le Roux
Bulls U19 Player of the Player: Corne Beets
** These awards are handed out this year because the 2022 under-19 competition happened post last season’s awards evening.

Bulls Under-21s – 2022
Bulls U21 Forward Player of the Year: Sebastian Lombard
Bulls U21 Backline Player of the Year: Quewin Nortje
Bulls U21 Player of the Player: Tiaan Lange
** These awards are handed out this year because the 2022 under-21 competition happened post last season’s awards evening.

CURRIE CUP
Bulls Currie Cup Forward Player of the Year: Jan-Hendrik Wessels
Bulls Currie Cup Backline Player of the Year: Embrose Papier
Bulls Currie Cup Player of the Year: Embrose Papier

CHAMPIONS CUP
Bulls Champions Cup Forward Player of the Year: Johan Grobbelaar
Bulls Champions Cup Backline Player of the Year: Kurt-Lee Arendse
Bulls Champions Cup Player of the Year: Kurt-Lee Arendse

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
United Rugby Championship Forward Player of the Year: Ruan Nortje
United Rugby Championship Backline Player of the Year: David Kriel
United Rugby Championship Player of the Year: Gerhard Steenekamp

SPECIAL AWARDS
BBCo. Employee of the Year: Renique Pepper
Most improved senior player of the year: Johan Grobbelaar
Most improved junior player of the year: Mawande Mdande
Fans player of the year: Kurt-Lee Arendse
** Voted for by the fans through the Bulls app
Players’ Player of the Year: Kurt-Lee Arendse
Player of the Year: Kurt-Lee Arendse

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