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'The move from Durban wasn't easy'

NEWS: Celimpilo ‘Mpilo’ Gumede has signed a new contract with the Bulls, committing his long-term future with the Tshwane-based outfit.

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Gumede’s extension will see play out of Loftus until June 2028.

Since joining the franchise from the coast in July of 2023 and making his debut against Namibia in a friendly, the loose forward out of Mtubatuba has gone on to make eight competitive appearances across the United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup competitions.

He has been a great versatile option in the forward pack and in the process earning a call-up to the opening Springbok alignment camp.

Gumede, a double SA Schools alumni, says he had no doubts that he wanted to extend his stay at Loftus.

“I had no doubt [in my mind] that I wanted to accept the offer because I have been in a good space since arriving in Pretoria and being with the Bulls family.

“There is a lot that comes with it, good culture, and good people outside of rugby, for me it has been a huge blessing and opportunity to be with this team. I am really happy and I look forward to the future.”

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Speaking about his decision to extend his stay with the Bulls after only seven months with the herd, Gumede said: “I have to be honest, the move from Durban wasn’t easy.

“The people have been very friendly and I am adapting much quicker than I thought. We have great guys here so it wasn’t hard for me to fit in, they are very open and welcoming.

“I am definitely having a great time.”

On what he looks forward to in the coming years at Loftus, he notes: “Firstly I just want to thank coach Jake [White] and the rest of his coaching department for putting their faith and trust in me. They believed in me and have worked with me to help me become a better player already.

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“In the coming years, I just want to improve my rugby, my game and be a better player and obviously I want to be a part of the teams that go on to win trophies for this franchise.”

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