Venter moves to Cheetahs
Bulls centre Francois Venter will leave the Pretoria-based franchise to further his career at the Cheetahs from the end of the year.
Venter decided against signing a new contract with the Bulls, and will instead head to Bloemfontein where he will join former Bulls team-mate Johann Sadie, who he partnered in the Bulls midfield during their opening Super Rugby match in 2012.
Sadie, who was released from his contract by the Bulls at the end of last year, has thrived since joining the Cheetahs and formed a formidable midfield combination with Robert Ebersohn.
Venter struggled with injuries this year and, during his stint on the sidelines, Jan Serfontein has leapfrogged him in the midfield pecking order at the Bulls.
With Serfontein and JJ Englebrecht now established as the Bulls' first-choice centres Venter opted to move to the Cheetahs where he is set to replace Ebersohn, who is rumoured to be heading to Montpellier.
“It is always a shame to lose a guy like Francois,” Bulls coach Frans Ludeke told SuperSport
“But we had a long discussion with him and he wants to establish himself in SA Rugby and he feels the only way is to start on a regular basis in Super Rugby.
"It was a big decision for him, and not one that he took overnight. We have been talking to him for six months now about this decision and it is all about playing time.
“He had an injury which hampered him and he couldn’t reach his own goals for the season. It is a pity, he is a quality centre and he can make it to the top.”
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske is overjoyed about his new recruit, and expects Venter to enjoy his stint with the Cheetahs.
“Francois is a very underrated player and he will fit exceptionally well into the Cheetahs’ playing pattern," said Drotske.
"He is physical and runs great lines, especially on attack."