Matfield returns to Bulls
The Bulls have confirmed the appointment of former Springbok lock Victor Matfield as their new forwards and attack coach for the 2013 Super Rugby season.
The former Bulls captain will be joined by ex Bok fly-half Derick Hougaard as a skills and kicking coach and the Bulls also announced the inclusion of SA U20 pivot Handrè Pollard as part of their extended playing squad for the new season.
Matfield was promoted from a consulting role into a permanent position, Hougaard comes into the Pretoria outfit's coaching structures for the first time and school boy star Pollard will be amongst the 53 players that will prepare for the 2013 season.
The Bulls also announced numerous promotions amongst their coaching squad, confirming the return of Japan-based Wynand Olivier and the inclusion of two loan players.
The squad will include:
- Two Lions players, Lionel Mapoe and Callie Visagie, on loan
- New signings Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse, who played Super Rugby for the Lions in 2012 and Marcel van der Merwe (Cheetahs)
- 19 Springboks on the roster
- IRB JWC-winning Junior Springboks Wiaan Liebenberg, Shaun Adendorff, Marvin Orie, William Small-Smith and Jan Serfontein, alongside Pollard and four other schoolboy stars.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke also confirmed his new coaching assistants, which saw the promotion of various coaches from within the Bulls structures.
Blue Bulls Currie Cup head coach, Pine Pienaar, will be the new defence coach, while Andrè Volsteedt has been promoted as head of strength and conditioning.
Nollis Marais, who coached the Blue Bulls U21s to a second consecutive provincial championship title in 2012 and won the Varsity Cup with Tukkies earlier this year, has been promoted to Vodacom Cup head coach and will continue with the U21s and Tuks in 2013.
Xander Janse van Rensburg will be the new high performance manager, with numerous other appointments in the junior structures confirmed, amongst them Hougaard as junior kicking and skills consultant.
Ludeke expressed his excitement ahead of the new season.
"Experience has taught us that the hard work in pre-season is vital for a successful campaign," he said.
"We could only measure the effects on the prolonged 2012 Super Rugby season now and will adjust our planning and training schedules accordingly.
"I am excited to work with the coaches in their new roles and believe we have the right mix of personalities, skills and expertise to make 2013 a success.
"Someone like Victor has so much experience to give back to our players and I am very excited to work with one of the sharpest rugby minds in the business."
Ludeke confirmed the return of Olivier, one of only two centurions in the squad (Mornè Steyn is the other).
"He will join us as soon as his club commitments end in Japan," he added.
"His record at the Bulls speaks volumes and Wynand will be an important player for us next year."
The Bulls wider training group for 2013 is:
Akona Ndungane, Arno Botha, Basil Short, Bjorn Basson, Bongi Mbonambi, Callie Visagie, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Clayton Blommetjies, Corne Cooper (schoolboy), Cornell Hess, Dawie Steyn, Daniel Kriel (schoolboy), Dean Greyling, Deon Stegmann, Dewald Potgieter, Flip van der Merwe, Francois Hougaard, Francois Venter, Frik Kirsten, Grant Hattingh, Handrè Pollard (schoolboy), Hencus van Wyk, Jan Serfontein, Jano Vermaak, Jacques Potgieter, Jacques du Plessis, Jean Cook, Jesse Kriel (schoolboy), JJ Engelbrecht, Juandrè Kruger, Jürgen Visser, Juan Schoeman, Lionel Mapoe, Lohan Jacobs, Louis Fouchè, Marcel van der Merwe, Marvin Orie, Mike Williams, Mornè Mellett, Mornè Steyn, Paul Willemse, Pierre Spies, Rohan Janse van Rensburg (schoolboy), Ruan Snyman, Rudy Paige, Sampie Mastriet, Schalk van Heerden, Shaun Adendorff, Tiaan Schoeman, Tony Jantjies, Travis Ismaiel, Ulrich Beyers, Werner Kruger, Wiaan Liebenberg, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Willie Wepener, William Small-Smith, Wynand Olivier, Zane Kirchner.
The promotions will see the following coaches in new roles:
Victor Matfield - Super Rugby and Currie Cup forward and attack coach
Pine Pienaar - Super Rugby defence coach
Wessel Roux - scrum coach (all), forwards coach U19
Andrè Volsteedt - head coach: strength and conditioning
John-William Meyer - Super Rugby and Currie Cup technical advisor
Xander Janse van Rensburg - high performance manager
Nollis Marais - Vodacom Cup head coach, U21; Tuks Varsity Cup head coach
Denzil Frans - Vodacom Cup and U21 forward coach
David Manuel - U21 and Vodacom Cup back-line coach
Shaun du Toit - U21 and Vodacom Cup strength and conditioning coach
Divan Strydom - U21 and Vodacom Cup technical advisor
Hendrè Marnitz - U19 back-line coach and junior defence coach
Hayden Groepes - U19 technical advisor
Derick Hougaard - junior kicking and skills consultant
Nicki de Villiers - nutritionist consultant
Werner de Beer - Coordinator: schools, amateur Rugby and high performance activities
Henri-Charl Terblanche - strength and conditioning coach: U19, high performance and schools
Dr Jannie Botha - Life skills, mental coach and counsellor