Gelant marks 50th cap with Tuitavake set for Vodacom Bulls debut

World Cup champion, Warrick Gelant, will run out for his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap against a strong Jaguares outfit when the Vodacom Bulls host the Argentine team on Saturday, 29 February 2020. The high-flying fullback made his debut against the DHL Stormers back in 2016 and has scored 15 tries for the Pretoria based team.


Regular captain, Burger Odendaal, has been ruled out with an ankle injury which makes space for Tongan centre Nafi Tuitavake to make his Vodacom Bulls debut. The fleet-footed Tuitavake is no stranger to Vodacom Super Rugby as he amassed 20 caps for the Crusaders after making his tournament debut in 2014 before plying his trade in Europe for several seasons.

There is one change and two positional changes amongst the forwards with Marco van Staden packing down at openside flank while Jeandré Rudolph and Josh Strauss shift around the loose trio with Strauss slotting in at blindside flank and Rudolph donning the no.8 jumper.

The backline is tweaked slightly with Embrose Papier earning his first start of the season and Johnny Kotze moving to inside centre to make space for Tuitavake. The bench remains unchanged.

Vodacom Bulls captain, Trevor Nyakane, congratulated Gelant on his milestone and welcomed Tuitavake into the fold.

“The team could not be happier for Warrick. He is a quality player as evident by his World Cup medal but more than that he is a great person. His work ethic and smile are infectious and we are proud to call him a teammate.”

“It is a special occasion when any player pulls on a Vodacom Bulls jersey for the first time so we know Nafi is not only excited but also slightly nervous. It has been some time since he played in Vodacom Super Rugby but he has been explosive in training so we’re excited to see what Nafi brings to the table.”

Head coach, Pote Human, has drawn a line in the sand in terms of his expectations from the team come kick-off on Saturday. “Our backs could not be more against the wall at the moment. We have made improvements since the first match but we’re still not doing enough within 80 minutes. We need to get the result.”

Kick-off is 17:15.

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Warrick Gelant, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Nafi Tuitavake, 12. Johnny Kotze, 11. Rosko Specman, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Embrose Papier, 8. Jeandré Rudolph, 7. Josh Strauss, 6. Marco van Staden, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Trevor Nyakane (C), 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16. Corniel Els, 17. Gerhard Steenekamp, 18. Wiehahn Herbst, 19. Ruan Nortje, 20. Ruan Steenkamp, 21. Ivan van Zyl, 22. Manie Libbok, 23. Divan Rossouw.

Visagie and Kotze go 50 up against Blues

Jaco Visagie and Johnny Kotze will both run out for their 50th Vodacom Super Rugby caps against the Blues when the Vodacom Bulls return to Loftus Versfeld for the first time this season on Saturday, 22 February.

Visagie made his tournament debut for the Vodacom Bulls back in 2015 and has proven to a regular fixture in any given matchday squad while Kotze made his debut in the colours of the DHL Stormers in 2015 before moving north.

Vodacom Bulls head coach, Pote Human, has selected a relatively unchanged team with Wian Vosloo the only new face in the starting lineup. He takes over the no.7 jumper from Abongile Nonkontwana.

The bench sees two changes with Corniel Els and Ruan Steenkamp making their first appearances this season. Els replaces the injured Johan Grobbelaar while Steenkamp takes Vosloo’s place on the bench.

Vodacom Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, was full of praise for his two teammates and their milestone.

“I’ve played with Jaco and Johnny for several seasons and they’re quality players who deserve this accolade. It’s not an easy feat to achieve 50 caps in Vodacom Super Rugby but their commitment and determination have been the cornerstone of their playing careers. The team already wants to claim a win for our loyal BullsFamily and now we have an added incentive.”

The men from Pretoria will be feeling the pressure as they are yet to register a win in 2020 but will take confidence in their ability as a unit and the fact that out of the nine matches played against the Blues at Loftus Versfeld, they have won six and drawn one.

A record the Vodacom Bulls would like to keep in the positive according to Human.

“We know that we need to win and have done our homework against the Blues with the bonus of a bye week assisting us. They remain a threat as always but if we can starve them of the ball and make our opportunities stick then that should be enough to secure a valuable win.”

Kick-off is 17:15.

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Warrick Gelant, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Burger Odendaal (C), 11. Rosko Specman, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 8. Josh Strauss, 7. Wian Vosloo, 6. Jeandré Rudolph, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16. Corniel Els, 17. Gerhard Steenekamp, 18. Wiehahn Herbst, 19. Ruan Nortje, 20. Ruan Steenkamp, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Manie Libbok, 23. Divan Rossouw.

Emirates Lions XV v Vodacom Blue Bulls XV

The team for the Emirates Lions XV v Vodacom Blue Bulls XV 15 February 2020, Emirates Airline Park

Match day Squad:

  1. Richard Kriel
  2. Jade Stighling
  3. Nafi Tuitavake
  4. Dawid Kellerman
  5. Gerswin Mouton
  6. Chris Smith
  7. Marco Jansen van Vuren

8.Muller Uys

7.Jaco Labuschagne

  1. Ruan Steenkamp ©
  2. Ewan Coetzee
  3. Ryno Pieterse
  4. Mornay Smith
  5. Janco Uys
  6. Kudzwai Dube


  1. PJ Jacobs
  2. Dewald Donald
  3. Dayan van der Westhuizen
  4. Ian Groenewald
  5. Janko Swanepoel
  6. Adre Smith
  7. Carl Els
  8. Keagan Johannes
  9. Vaughen Isaacs
  10. Diego Appollis
  11. Marnus Potgieter


AFGRI Agri Services, Kagiso Trust and Potatoes South Africa join forces to support new era potato farmers

Monday, 10 February 2020 –AFGRI Agri Services, Kagiso Trust (through the Tyala Impact Fund) and Potatoes South Africa (“PSA”) today signed a ground-breaking agreement aimed at addressing the major challenges faced by South Africa’s new era farmers – access to technical support, access to finance and access to markets. The agreement will give rise to a sustainable solution that will involve the co-operation of three reputable players in their field of expertise to provide a holistic approach to these challenges.


Whilst initially focused on potato farming in South Africa, with the aim of establishing commercial new era potato farmers, the solution will not be limited to potatoes in the longer term, with the intention being to establish commercial new era farmers in other export crops, including avocados, grapes and apples.


“South Africa’s land reform process is likely to not yield the desired success if support for new era farmers does not improve considerably. Without structured support and appropriate funding, new era farmers who venture into commercial farming are bound to fail, given that commercial farming is a capital-intensive business requiring specific knowledge and support. The battle to secure support has already forced many struggling new era farmers to rent out their land to established farmers,” says Mankodi Moitse, the CEO of Kagiso Trust, one of South Africa’s leading development agencies. “If this is left unchanged, South Africa is likely to see more new era farmers being forced out of the commercial agricultural space, which will render the land reform process futile.”


According to Mrs Moitse, the timing of the solution was therefore opportune. “Given the potential role of agriculture in economic transformation and food security, Kagiso Trust also wants to extend its contribution beyond education and other development interventions to agriculture. As such, Kagiso Trust set up the Tyala Impact Fund, so this agreement ticked all the boxes.”


One of the key elements of the solution is training. According to Jacob de Villiers, the CEO of AFGRI Agri Services, new era farmers often lack good, technical ‘hands on’ training. “Through Lemang Agricultural Services, we deliver support to new era farmers aimed at improving productivity through advice, information and other critical support services. However, what has made our training and development programmes stand out in terms of the successes achieved is the support given to new era farmers by experienced mentors, who are literally in the fields training the farmers, and with them virtually every step of their development journey.”


Under the co-operation agreement, Lemang Agricultural Services will provide joint technical assistance and training with PSA on potatoes as well as rotational crops. Lemang’s assistance will further include co-funding – through AFGRI Agri Services’ financial services arm, UNIGRO – as well as training and mentorship in order to develop new era farmers to become full participants in the commercial agriculture value chain and to be part of the agricultural mainstream.


UNIGRO MD Ross Simmonds says that there is still relatively little appropriate financial support available to new era farmers. “Financiers struggle to provide funding to these farmers, given their lack of financial history and access to equity, amongst others. However, given the mentorship provided through Lemang Agricultural Services and PSA, the financial support of the Tyala Impact Fund, and UNIGRO’s deep agricultural finance knowledge, we are able to assist. Solutions can only be found through partnerships between companies committed to the sustainability of the South African agricultural sector.”


Access to markets is another significant requirement, and here is where both PSA and AFGRI Agri Services will be key. PSA CEO, Andre Jooste, says that required off-take agreements, i.e. the assurance from a business that it will buy the new era farmer’s produce, is vital. “Both PSA and AFGRI Agri Services have access to networks that include suppliers and technical partners in the co-op space to facilitate the required off-take agreements.”

Jooste explains that the PSA and commercial potato producers are no stranger to the development of new era farmers, and already contribute to ensuring that these farmers gain commercial producer status through PSA’s Enterprise Development programme. “The number of hectares supported by the programme increased from 37 hectares to 320 hectares over a period of eight years. During this time, two farmers, one in Limpopo and one in the Eastern Cape, graduated to commercial status, each planting more than 30 hectares of potatoes.”


He adds that it is imperative to establish successful partnerships with key role players in the potato value chain and beyond to support new era farmers.


Finally, and perhaps most critically, is access to funding, especially affordable funding. UNIGRO will be the commercial debt financier but will require the equity gap to be plugged. “This is where the Tyala Impact Fund comes in, providing funding at development returns. In addition, the extremely low average funding rate between UNIGRO’S senior debt interest rate and Tyala’s development interest rate provides an affordable repayment debt profile for new era farmers – leaving them with a sustainable farming operation yet access to cash to fund their lifestyle,” explains Teresa le Roux of Ukunika Investments, which developed and proposed the solution, and is working on other, similar initiatives in the agricultural space.


“We are all very excited at this unique opportunity to work together to improve the lot of new era farmers in our country and are looking forward to making a tangible and sustainable difference to the South African agricultural sector,” concludes de Villiers.

Vodacom Bulls reset for DHL Stormers

Rugby World Cup champion, Trevor Nyakane, has been named to start alongside fellow Springbok prop, Lizo Gqoboka, as the duo pick up their successful scrum partnership in Round 2 of Vodacom Super Rugby action against the DHL Stormers this coming Saturday.

Nyakane’s selection is the only change to the starting team with Wiehahn Herbst shifting to the bench.

Gerhard Steenekamp is set to make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut if he comes on as a replacement prop while Vodacom Bulls head coach, Pote Human, has opted for a 5/3 split amongst the replacements which makes room for utility back Divan Rossouw.

History does not favour the Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town as they last beat the DHL Stormers in the Mother City in 2011 but the team does take comfort in knowing how to unlock their opponents after last season’s 40-0 drubbing at Loftus Versfeld which was followed by a narrow one point loss in the return fixture.

Vodacom Bulls captain, Burger Odendaal, explained how the players felt after their loss against the Cell C Sharks and added that although their confidence took a dip on their way back to Pretoria, it shot straight back up when the players returned to training.

“The players were extremely disappointed. There is no two ways about it as we let ourselves down especially considering that we were in it until the final minute. We have the manpower to beat any team and we will take that mindset into our second South African derby in as many weeks.”

Human was happy with his team’s discipline against the Cell C Sharks where they only conceded five penalties but added that this week’s preparations included serious conversations about finishing try-scoring opportunities.

“Our discipline was good on the night which allowed us to stay in the game but tries are our bread and butter and we cannot afford to fluff so many opportunities. Vodacom Super Rugby is extremely brutal so when the try line presents itself we need to take full advantage of it.”

Kick-off is 17:15.

Vodacom Bulls: 15. Warrick Gelant, 14. Cornal Hendricks, 13. Johnny Kotze, 12. Burger Odendaal (C), 11. Rosko Specman, 10. Morné Steyn, 9. Ivan van Zyl, 8. Josh Strauss, 7. Abongile Nonkontwana, 6. Jeandré Rudolph, 5. Juandré Kruger, 4. Andries Ferreira, 3. Trevor Nyakane, 2. Jaco Visagie, 1. Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: 16. Johan Grobbelaar, 17. Gerhard Steenekamp, 18. Wiehahn Herbst, 19. Ruan Nortje, 20. Wian Vosloo, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Manie Libbok, 23. Divan Rossouw.


BullsFamily bid farewell to Zondag

The #BullsFamily bid farewell to Alan Zondagh, director of Rugby at the end of January. He stepped down due to personal reasons and to enjoy more quality time with the family. His current role will not be immediately filled. The responsibilities of the role will be shared between head coach Pote Human and CEO Alfons Meyer.

Zondagh was appointed at the BBCo in January 2019, with the core vision of restructuring the High-Performance department at the BBCo. He has been a true servant of the game on a global stage dedicating the last 40 years of his life to this beautiful game.

Starting in the early 80’s as director of coaching for the Western Province Rugby Union, he moved on to head coach of Eastern Province and then returned to the WP as head coach in the 90s. He later travelled abroad coaching the London Scottish, before assuming the role of Director of Rugby at Saracens between 1999 and 2000. He thereafter became the performance director at the Rugby Performance Center between 2005 and 2017. Zondagh then pursued his own consultancy for the next few years before accepting his role at Loftus.

Even though he will still be involved in assisting with rugby projects at the BBCo, he is looking forward to stepping back and taking some time to enjoy with his family.

“My time in rugby wasn’t about a career or job,” Zondagh stated, “it was truly a way of life for me. Once the #BullsFamily gets into your blood, you can never leave it behind, so as much as I look forward to enjoying a bit of relaxation, I’m also keen to get stuck into a few projects assisting the team.”

Alfons Meyer, CEO of the BBCo, heaped praise on Zondagh’s achievements at Loftus, “Alan is a true gentleman of the game, and we were privileged to have a man of his abilities to be part of our system. He has played a massive role in the stabilization of the organization and for that we are eternally grateful. We wish him all the best with the part that lies ahead.”