Lood: Bulls not a one-man band
WATCH as the Bulls speak out about their new captain, Springbok lock Lodewyk de Jager, as the 2019 Super Rugby season looms.
In the wake of the departure of New Zealander John Mitchell – now England’s defence coach – the Bulls have revamped their entire management structure.
The first appointment was Pote Human as the head coach of the Super Rugby team. He will be assisted by Chris Rossouw (backline and attack), Anton Leonard (line-out), Hayden Groepes (skills and kicking), John-William Meyer (technical and performance analyst), Pine Pienaar (defence) – with Alan Zondagh overseeing it all as Director of Rugby.
However, one of the most significant appointments was to name the seasoned lock, De Jager, as captain. Bok flyhalf Handre Pollard is the vice-captain.
De Jager, although only 26, has already played 38 Tests and has 70-odd first-class games to his credit – 60 of them at Super Rugby level, 40 for the Cheetahs and 20 for the Bulls since he joined them in 2017.
Phrases like ‘leading from the front’ and ‘respect’ were commonplace when his teammates were asked about the appointment.
He was described as somebody who ‘leads by example’.
De Jager said it was a “massive privilege” to be asked to captain the Bulls and suggested he will lean on his teammates for assistance.
“I like to not talk too much,” the new Bulls skipper said.
“I have a lot of leaders around me, guys who really understand the game.”
He admitted to being “surprised” when the call came from the coach, because there are so many “great leaders” and senior players in the team that could be captain in any other team.
“I will be the first guy to put my hand up when the going gets tough.”
New Bulls coach Pote Human said it was an ‘easy’ decision to name De Jager as skipper.
“He is a really good leader, who leads by example. The guys will follow him.”