Bulls lose Springbok duo
The Bulls have confirmed the departure of flanker Dewald Potgieter and scrum-half Jano Vermaak to Japan and France respectively.
Potgieter decided not to renew his contract which expires at the end of the current Super Rugby campaign and will join the Yamaha Rugby Club in Japan, whilst Vermaak, who made his Springbok debut against Italy recently, has asked to be released from his contract to join Top 14 heavyweights, Toulouse.
Vermaak's request to leave after the completion of the Super Rugby tournament will be discussed by the Bulls, as his contract only expires at the end of October.
According to Xander Janse van Rensburg, the Bulls' high performance manager, Potgieter, who played in 58 Currie Cup, 63 Super Rugby matches and represented South Africa in six tests and two tour matches, decided to go overseas to experience a different lifestyle and culture.
"We had numerous talks with Jano and at one stage it looked successful, but he finally decided to accept the Toulouse offer," said Janse van Rensburg.
"We are very sad to lose these two players, as they have massive experience and are part of our leadership core, but one cannot compete with the exchange rate at the moment."
Meanwhile, the Bulls also announced that several other players have extended their contracts with the Pretoria-based franchise.
Current Springbok squad members Arno Botha and JJ Engelbrecht signed on till 2016 while Louis Fouchè, Hencus van Wyk, Jono Ross, Basil Short and Deon Stegmann have clinched deals until 2015 and Handrè Pollard to 2017.
A number of players currently playing for the Junior Springboks in France have also penned extensions.
Flanker Roelof Smit, prop Andrew Beerwinkel and lock Jannes Kirsten signed on till 2015, while current Junior Boks captain, Ruan Steenkamp, signed on till 2014.
"It is great to see the vote of confidence in the company and our structures and teams by so many leading players," Janse van Rensburg said.
Engelbrecht indicated that enjoyment as well as the drive to win tournaments made his decision an easy one.
"I am very happy in Pretoria, where a great work ethic and professional outlook is paramount," he said.
I feel I have developed so much as a player since joining the Bulls and want to keep on improving, something I know will happen here.
"The coaches here are brilliant and one can really develop as a player and as a person."