Wed 26 Oct 2022 | 12:52

'Prime of his career': Bulls president opens up on Bok's move to Pretoria

'Prime of his career': Bulls president opens up on Bok's move to Pretoria
Wed 26 Oct 2022 | 12:52
'Prime of his career': Bulls president opens up on Bok's move to Pretoria
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REACTION: Blue Bulls Rugby Union President Willem Strauss did not hold back his excitement about Wilco Louw’s move to Pretoria next year.

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The Bulls officially announced the deal to sign Louw from English side, Harlequins on Wednesday on a three-year deal beginning 1 July 2023.

The 28-year-old prop – who is no stranger to Pretoria – joins the Bulls having established himself as one of the leading players in his position.

“It is wonderful to have a top international tighthead joining us in the prime of his career,” said Strauss.

“Wilco was part of our junior structures and his return will surely bolster our pack of forwards.

“We look forward to welcoming him home and know that he will help in contributing towards the continued growth of our franchise.”

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Speaking of his move to Loftus, Louw said: “The Bulls play an exciting brand of rugby and they have great coaches, I am excited for the new challenge ahead. I am looking forward to running out in the jersey once more and to having the opportunity in the United Rugby Championship.

“It is exciting to be going back to South Africa and to be reunited with the Bulls, I had an unbelievable time at Harlequins with great memories and hopefully we can make some great memories in Pretoria too.

“My rugby career started at the Bulls and I think it’s every rugby player’s dream to win a few trophies in their career, so I am very keen to join the team and work with great players and coaches to make that dream our reality.”

Wilco’s career began in the Cape Winelands, then developed through the Bulls’ youth structures and mastered at the Stormers, where he made more than a century of appearances before moving to apply his trade in Europe.

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The Ceres native spent a short-term spell with French side, Toulon, before going on to earn 49 caps so far for his current club, Harlequins, for whom he scored a try in the final (against Exeter) to help the English club win the 2020/21 Premiership Rugby crown.

Louw’s rise to stardom began back in 2012, when he represented Boland at the Craven Week competition, putting in performances that would earn him a call-up into the South African Schoolboys squad, where he victoriously featured in clashes against England, Wales and France.

Soon after, he went on to join the Under-19 Bulls ensemble that would go on to win the 2014 under-19 Currie Cup. Earning him a call-up to the South African U20 side, which would eventually lose the U20 World Championship finals to England.

Having graduated from the U19s, Wilco went on to win the under-20 Provincial championship before returning to the Cape, to join the Stormers and Western Province, going on to win the 2017 edition of the Currie Cup.

The (now) Springbok-capped front-row forward has earned himself 14 national caps to date, having made his debut against the All-Blacks back in October 2017.

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