Former Springbok utility back Johan Goosen could be the next in a series of high profile players to put pen to paper with the Bulls as Jake White’s evolution of the union continues.
Johan Goosen, still only 28, has been linked with a move to the Pretoria-based side for some time now as White looks for a successor to current pivot, Morne Steyn.
Steyn recently returned from France, and while his international playing days may be a thing of the past, the 36-year-old has been a perfect mentor for understudy Chris Smith this season.
THERE HAD BEEN TALK GOOSEN MAY RETURN TO THE CHEETAHS
There had been talk that Goosen may favour a return to the Cheetahs for several reasons – he was educated at Grey College, he’s played for the Cheetahs before and Bloemfontein is closer to his farm – but that no longer appears to be an option, according to the Rapport newspaper.
The Bulls after all will be competing in the upcoming Rainbow Cup from April to June, followed by the expanded PRO16 later in 2021.
The Cheetahs won’t feature in either of those tournaments.
Goosen is expected to complete his move to the Bulls once his contract with French Top 14 giants Montpellier ends in June.
Goosen played 13 Tests for the Springboks between 2012-2016.
It’s clear that White’s grand plan is to attract as many players familiar with northern hemisphere conditions as financially possible to the Bulls as they prepare for life post-Super Rugby and more matches in Europe than ever before.
JAKE WHITE HAS ALREADY MADE KEY BULLS SIGNINGS
White has already lured loose forward Marcell Coetzee to the Bulls. Apart from an apparent admiration for the Loftus Versfeld side, Coetzee has no previous ties or links whatsoever to the Bulls.
What he does possess, however, is an intimate knowledge of playing conditions in the UK having spent a successful five years at Ulster in Ireland.
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Meanwhile, former darling of Loftus, Francois Hougaard, is reportedly also on his way back to Pretoria.
Hougaard boasts a welcome of experience in England having represented the Worcester Warriors since 2016. Prior to that he was on the Bulls’ books for eight years.
HOUGAARD’S BULLS SIGNING MAKES PERFECT SENSE
With scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl set to quit Loftus and join former English Premiership champions Saracens in mid-year, the recruitment of Hougaard makes perfect sense.