Did Bulls win the off-season?

With a little more than one week to go before a superhero-themed, pre-season double-header at Cape Town Stadium heralds the start of Super Rugby manoeuvers, here’s a look at each team’s biggest player transfers since the Crusaders won the 2018 final.

Unofficially, the Bulls’ Captain America strip won the superhero jersey contest, and the off-season acquisition of Schalk Brits, Duane Vermeulen and Cornal Hendricks drew a “Wow!” from Lions coach Swys de Bruin.

Indeed, the Bulls are the only team in the South African Conference that added more proven talent than they lost.

SA Conference
BULLS
Out: Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh), Adriaan Strauss (retired), Ruben van Heerden (Sharks), Francois Brummer (Zebre), Dries Swanepoel (Cheetahs), Jamba Ulengo (released)
In: Schalk Brits (Saracens), Duane Vermeulen (Toulon), Paul Schoeman (Cheetahs), Garth April (Sharks), Cornal Hendricks, Rosko Specman (SA Sevens)

JAGUARES
Out: Leonardo Senatore (Gimnasia y Esgrima), Felipe Ezcurra (Leicester), Juan Martin Hernandez (retired), Nicolas Sanchez (Stade Francais), coach Mario Ledesma (Los Pumas)
In: coach Gonzalo Quesada (Biarritz)

LIONS
Out: Ruan Dreyer (Gloucester), Corne Fourie (Stormers), Jacques van Rooyen (Bath), Franco Mostert (Gloucester), Jaco Kriel (Gloucester), Rohan Janse van Rensburg (Sale)
In: Stephan Lewies (Sharks)

SHARKS
Out: Ross Geldenhuys (Bay of Plenty), Franco Marais (Gloucester), Stephan Lewies (Lions), Keegan Daniel (retired), Michael Claassens (retired), Garth April (Bulls)
In: Ruben van Heerden (Bulls)

STORMERS
Out:
JC Janse van Rensburg (Grenoble), Nizaam Carr (Wasps), Dewaldt Duvenage (Benetton), Raymond Rhule (Grenoble)
In: Corne Fourie (Lions), Ruhan Nel (SA Sevens)

Australian Conference
BRUMBIES
Out: Ben Alexander (retired), Kyle Godwin (Connacht), Andrew Smith (retired)
In: James Slipper (Reds), Pete Samu (Crusaders), Toni Pulu (Chiefs)

REBELS
Out: Laurie Weeks (retired), Geoff Parling (retired), Colby Fainga’a (Connacht), Lopeti Timani (La Rochelle), Amanaki Mafi (NTT), Jack Debreczeni (Chiefs)
In: Hugh Roach (Waratahs), Quade Cooper (Reds), Matt Toomua (Leicester), Campbell Magnay (Suntory)

REDS
Out: James Slipper (Brumbies), Kane Douglas (Bordeaux), George Smith (Bristol), Quade Cooper (Rebels), Jono Lance (Worcester), Ben Lucas (Grenoble), Eto Nabuli (Bordeaux), Karmichael Hunt (Waratahs)
In: Sefa Naivalu (Rebels), Bryce Hegarty (Waratahs)

WARATAHS
Out: Hugh Roach (Rebels), Bryce Hegarty (Reds), Taqele Naiyaravoro (Northampton)
In: Le Roux Roets (Pumas), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Kobe), Karmichael Hunt (Reds)

SUNWOLVES
In: Pauliasi Manu (Blues), Sam Prattley (Chiefs), Dan Pryor (Highlanders), Hendrik Tui (Suntory), Jamie Booth (Hurricanes), Phil Burleigh (Canterbury), Shane Gates (NTT), Rene Ranger (Northland), Jamie Henry (Verblitz)

NZ Conference
BLUES
Out: Pauliasi Manu (Sunwolves), Jerome Kaino (Toulouse), Bryn Gatland (Highlanders), George Moala (Clermont), coach Tana Umaga (assistant coach)
In: Karl Tu’inukuafe (Chiefs), Ma’a Nonu (Toulon), coach Leon MacDonald (Tasman)

CHIEFS
Out: Sam Prattley (Sunwolves), Karl Tu’inukuafe (Blues), Dominic Bird (Racing 92), Liam Messam (Toulon), Charlie Ngatai (Lyon), Toni Pulu (Brumbies)
In: Jack Debreczeni (Rebels)

CRUSADERS
Out: Wyatt Crockett (Tasman), Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Hurricanes), Pete Samu (Brumbies), Seta Tamanivalu (Bordeaux)

HIGHLANDERS
Out: Dan Pryor (Sunwolves), Lima Sopoaga (Wasps)
In: Bryn Gatland (Blues), Marty Banks (NTT)

HURRICANES
Out: Michael Fatialofa (Worcester), Brad Shields (Wasps), Blade Thomson (Scarlets), Jamie Booth (Sunwolves), Ihaia West (La Rochelle), Julian Savea (Toulon), coach Chris Boyd (Northampton)
In: Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Crusaders), James Marshall (London Irish), coach John Plumtree (assistant coach)

— Staff Writer

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Barry

    We should surely be looking at the team with the least movements inward, rather than the most!

    Buying in expertise does not always translate to success, it is more about retaining core players and continuity!

    There are also a number of dominant players/leaders at the Bulls now, one wonders how that might all fit together! Good luck to them!

    • Bokfan

      Agree! Look at Saders….no one in. Nuff said

    • John Comyn

      Let me say this before Herman comes on board. The Lions are a case in point. They built the side on continuity. It will be interesting to see where they are now that they have lost players to overseas clubs.

      • Barry

        Lol good point John – though I think Herman’s back to school?

        • SweetAz

          He’s trying to find a new way to rehash 200 lines of the same verbiage without being accused of only knowing the word “domkrag”.

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