Blue Bulls Company honours outstanding performances at 2019 awards

The Blue Bulls Company held their 2019 awards ceremony at the vibrant Altitude roof top Bar in Menlyn on Tuesday, 3 December 2019.

The event, which focused on fun and unwinding after another season of hard hitting rugby, was attended by sponsors, stakeholders, management, players and their respective family and friends. World Cup winning flyhalf Handrè Pollard walked away as the BBCo’s Player of the Year with fellow World champion, Duane Vermuelen, claiming the Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year award.

The Currie Cup and SuperSport Challenge Player of the Year awards were snapped up by Tim Agaba and Ruan Nortje respectively while Muller Uys and Richard Kriel were awarded the U21 and U19 Player of the Year. The ceremony was also used to name the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby leadership with Burger Odendaal being named as captain and Trevor Nyakane his deputy.

The Blue Bulls Company would like to congratulate all the award winners while wishing everyone a safe and enjoyable festive season.

U19 Player of the Year: Richard Kriel

U21 Forward of the Year: Hanru Sirgel

U21 Back of the Year: Wian van Niekerk

U21 Player of the Year: Muller Uys

SuperSport Challenge Player of the Year: Ruan Nortje

Currie Cup Player of the Year: Tim Agaba

VSR Forward of the Year: Trevor Nyakane

VSR Back of the Year: Burger Odendaal

VSR Player of the Year: Duane Vermeulen

BBCo Employee of the Year: Collen Khoza

PUMA Forever Faster Award: Cornal Hendricks

ISUZU Award: Lizo Gqoboka

AFGRI Award: Simphiwe Matanzima

BBCo Player of the Year: Handrè Pollard

PUMA AND VODACOM BULLS GIVE IT HORNS IN 2020

Cape Town, South Africa, November 2019 – Official technical partner PUMA has launched the 2020 kit for the Vodacom Bulls and Blue Bulls, which will be worn for both the Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup seasons. The new #GiveItHorns jersey features a repeating pattern of bull heads with interlocking horns in a contrasting shade of blue.

“Vodacom Bulls fans have passed down their love for the team to their children and their children’s children. It’s more than supporting a team – it’s supporting a legacy. This connection is mirrored in the pattern on the shirts – bull horns interlocking to represent how generations of supporters are connected through their shared passion, dedication and love for their team,” said PUMA South Africa Marketing Director Brett Bellinger.

“South African rugby is riding a wave of success and we look forward to seeing World Champion warrior Trevor Nyakane and next generation players Marco van Staden, Lizo Gqoboka and Simphiwe Matanzima giving it horns in the new Vodacom Bulls kit this season.”

Blue Bulls Company CEO Alfons Meyer said: “PUMA have again raised the bar with a design that encompasses what the #BullsFamily is all about. It speaks to our old and new fans, as well as across age groups. We are also excited by our new combined logo, which showcases both the Barberton Daisy and the horns that have defined the Vodacom Bulls in the professional era. This will proudly be displayed on the left chest of the jersey, and will make a bold statement about a team that has been built on a strong heritage, while striving forward and remaining a trend-setter in the industry.”

The #GiveItHorns jersey sits alongside the Marvel Captain America jersey that will be used for local Derby matches. It drops in PUMA stores, Totalsports, The Cross Trainer, Sportsmans Warehouse and selected retailers on 29 November 2019 for R799.

#GiveItHorns #BullsFamily

 Media Contact:

Brett Bellinger – Marketing Director, PUMA South Africa – brett.bellinger@puma.com

Doug Carew – Splash PR – doug@splashpr.co.za

Vodacom Bulls latest signing… Patrice Motsepe

The Blue Bulls Company is excited to welcome our new shareholder Patrice Motsepe to the #BullsFamily.

The much talked about and anticipated deal was unanimously concluded on Thursday evening at a meeting held at Loftus Versfeld.

The new structure will mean that existing shareholders Remgro and the Blue Bulls Rugby Union (BBRU) reduce their previously equal percentage of shareholding from 50% each to 37% and 26% respectively, allowing Motsepe to buy in owning the remaining 37%.

President of the BBRU, Willem Strauss expressed his delight with the new signing: “We put a lot of effort into making this possible over the last few months, and I am proud to say that all the union committee members unanimously voted in favor of the deal. I firmly believe that private investors will add immense value to our beautiful game going forward. The benefits of this deal is not only to the BBCo at the professional level, it will also make a positive impact on our amateur rugby, at schools, clubs and development levels. We are privileged and excited to have partners like Mr Motsepe in our corner”

Motsepe is undoubtedly a visionary in the business world and has often been quoted as saying, “If we continue doing the right things in Africa, we can create a very exciting and competitive global market here”. Among his many business ventures, he is also the owner of African soccer giants Mamelodi Sundowns, a team that also enjoys Loftus Versfeld as their home ground.

Alfons Meyer, CEO of the BBCo is looking forward to the synergies that the new partnership brings: “This is a brilliant deal, not only for us at the BBCo, but also for our communities and the sport industry in general. I look forward to a host of synergies and opportunities that will be forged between us. With Mr Motsepe also owning soccer giants Mamelodi Sundowns, there is no doubt that a relationship like this will further enhance and entrench our vision to make Tshwane the sporting capital.”

#BullsFamily 2020 Season Ticket… FULLY LOADED

2019 was an emotional roller-coaster for Bulls fans, with some amazing memories and achievements. Finishing the best of all local teams in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament, and powering into the playoffs giving the hosting Hurricanes an absolute run for their money, certainly makes this a season to remember. We also recorded our best touring results since 2007, without losing a game while in New Zealand during the round games. Closer to home, we also racked up our biggest win since 2004 over the DHL Stormers, and also our first victory against the Emirates Lions at Ellis Park since 2012.

A few other highlights would have to be: having the best lineout in the competition, Handré Pollard finishing as top point scorer in the competition, while Trevor Nyakane and Lizo Gqoboka were undoubtedly the most consistent props in the comp. Your #BullsFamily also produced 12 Springboks and two Bok captains this year, many of whom are still currently representing South Africa with distinction at the at the Rugby World Cup.

Your #BullsFamily would like to once again invite you to join us as we embark on another epic journey as we push forward into a new chapter. We urge you to renew or buy your season ticket for 2020 and walk this memorable path with us.

The benefits of owning a season ticket are split into six easy parts: The rugby action, insane monthly prizes, customised gifts, VIP events, our biggest voucher offering ever, and an exclusive communications system via direct WhatsApp … all at an amazing discounted price.

Your 2020 Season ticket is fully loaded, packed with more added value than ever before:

RUGBY

  • Eight (8) Vodacom Super Rugby matches, plus a potential SEMI, and FINAL
  • All the Currie Cup home action, including a possible SEMI and FINAL
  • SuperSport Rugby Challenge
  • An all new format for Junior rugby

 PRIZES

Stand a chance to win a trip to Durban to watch the opening round match between the Cell C Sharks and the Vodacom Bulls.

PRIZES MONTHLY: Cell phones, beer for the month, player jersey, four cases water, upgrade to suite, dinner vouchers, golf 4-balls, PVM hamper, Neolife hamper, Tsogo accommodation, Comair tickets, Fleishery meat vouchers, big data vouchers, Puma items, party in Castle Corner … and a few more.

GIFT

  • Platinum Season ticket holders receive a 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby jersey
  • Custom-branded back floppy hat showing off the combined #BullsFamily 2020 logo, included the Daisy and the horns.

EXCLUSIVE VIP EVENTS

Invites to exclusive events with players and the team including: Captains runs, fan parks and a host of other events.

VOUCHERS

  • Vodacom data or fiber deal
  • 20% once off discount at any Puma retail store
  • 20% off VODE water purchased directly from VODE
  • 20% off all PVM products purchased directly from PVM
  • 10 % off your bill at Zappas Loftus (excludes specials)
  • 10% off at Turn and Tender, Loftus Park
  • 10 % off at Salsa Loftus
  • 10% off at Vovo Telo
  • Exclusive rates at Comair
  • 20% off Intercape Bus tickets,
  • 10% off all salon treatments at EVA beauty salon at Loftus Park (excludes aesthetic treatments performed by our Dr. and retail products.)
  • More to be announced shortly

COMMUNICATION (WhatsApp)

An exclusive communication channel between the brand and the season ticket holder. This system will be run via a dedicated WhatsApp line. It will include: breaking news, birthday messages, voice notes from players, specials, reminders, and even score updates.

Packages and payments       

PACKAGES PAYMENT EARLY BIRD 10% * 3 MONTHS
Platinum R4000 R3600 R1400 per month (R4200)
Gold R2100 R1890 R770 per month (R2310)
Silver R1200 R1080 R440 per month (R1320)
Scholar R240 R216 N/A

This is more than a season ticket … it’s your invite to being part of the inner circle at Loftus.

  •   *Renew and pay before 30 December 2019 and receive an early bird discount of 10% off
  • For more information visit www.thebulls.co.za or call 012 420 0700.

 

All roads lead to the final for Vodacom Blue Bulls U21

The Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 have wrapped up their preparations for the SA Rugby U21 Championship final against DHL Western Province U21 at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday, 7 September 2019.

There is only one change to the starting team that narrowly beat the Cell C Sharks U21 in the semi-final last week with Marnus Potgieter recovering from his training injury to resume his role as outside centre.

Sango Xamlashe drops to the bench and is joined by flyhalf Vaughen Isaacs, who made his Currie Cup debut against the Cell C Sharks two weeks ago.

Kick-off is 13:45 and will be televised live on Super Sport 1.

Vodacom Blue Bulls U21: 15. Richard Kriel, 14. Gershwin Mouton, 13. Marnus Potgieter, 12. Wian van Niekerk, 11. Sebastiaan Jobb, 10. Theo Boshoff, 9. Keagan Johannes, 8. Muller Uys (C), 7. Hanru Sirgel, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Ryno Pieterse, 3. Mornay Smith, 2. Werner Fourie, 1. Kudzwai Dube.

Replacements: 16. Llewellyn Classen, 17. Etienne Janeke, 18. Carl Els, 19. Ewart Potgieter, 20. Johan Mulder, 21. Vaughen Isaacs, 22. Sango Xamlashe, 23. Cabous Eloff.

Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 loaded for semi-final match against Cell C Sharks U21

The Vodacom Blue Bulls U21s have been named for their SA Rugby U21 Championship semi-final match against the Cell C Sharks U21s at Loftus Versfeld on Friday, 30 August 2019.

Head coach, Nollis Marais kept the changes to a minimum with a change in the midfield as Wian van Niekerk replaces Jay-Cee Nel at inside centre.

Marnus Potgieter was set to don the outside centre jersey but dislocated his finger during training which allows Sango Xamlashe an opportunity.

Amongst the forwards, another lock partnership will start as both Ruan Nortje and Ryno Pieterse return to the fold while Mornay Smith and Werner Fourie are the front row changes.

The new faces on the bench are Llewellyn Classen, Carl Els, Ewart Potgieter, Cabous Eloff, Lionel April and Dawid Kellerman.

Kick-off is 13:00 and the public are encouraged to come down to support the juniors with entrance to the match being free of charge.

Vodacom Blue Bulls U21: 15. Richard Kriel, 14. Gershwin Mouton, 13. Sango Xamlashe, 12. Wian van Niekerk, 11. Sebastiaan Jobb, 10. Theo Boshoff, 9. Keagan Johannes, 8. Muller Uys (C), 7. Hanru Sirgel, 6. Stephan Smit, 5. Ruan Nortje, 4. Ryno Pieterse, 3. Mornay Smith, 2. Werner Fourie, 1. Kudzwai Dube.

Replacements: 16. Llewellyn Classen, 17. Etienne Janeke, 18. Carl Els, 19. Ewart Potgieter, 20. Johan Mulder, 21. Lionel April, 22. Dawid Kellerman, 23. Cabous Eloff.

 

Tshwane 10s: Bigger and better with the Vodacom Bulls

Pretoria’s greatest sports festival, the Tshwane 10s will be bigger and better than ever before come 27 & 28 September 2019. The festival will take place on the Loftus Versfeld grounds, home of the Vodacom Bulls, from 07h30 – 23h30 on both days.

“We wish the Bulls Family a warm welcome to the Tshwane 10s – we know that all of our 100 plus teams will find it a huge honour to take to your grounds, compete under your brand and will fully embrace the sportsmanship and pride that is synonymous with the Vodacom Bulls,” says Tshwane 10s Festival Director, Gerhardi Odendaal.

In addition to the 50 plus rugby teams expected to enter, all of which will play on the Loftus Versfeld pitch, the festival will once again host teams from the sporting codes of netball, dodgeball, hockey and soccer. Friends, family and fans from far and wide are encouraged to enter their teams or book their general tickets which are inclusive of a fan park and beer tent.

Blue Bulls CEO Alfons Meyer believes that this event will go a long way in both welcoming new audiences to the Vodacom Bulls precinct as well as rewarding the old faithful with a game on the Loftus grounds come Tshwane 10s rugby. “I did not hesitate at this relationship opportunity as we constantly strive towards innovative ideas to reach new audiences whilst remaining true to who we are as an iconic sporting brand. In addition to our inaugural hosting of the Tshwane 10s, we’ll witness our first time of hosting a netball tournament at our professional rugby stadium. We open our arms to all and look forward to seeing some cracking action come end of September.”

The festival will be full of familiar faces most particularly for rugby lovers with the VIP Oakheart Invitational Team being the key one to watch consisting of Bakkies Botha;  Gareth “SoldierBoy” McLellan; Jacques Burger; Ethienne Reynecke; Edrich Linde: Jacques Muller;  Jonathan Mokuena;  Nico Luus;  Riaan Erwee;  Christiaan Snyman;  Joe van der Berg and Sam Gerber.

Tickets are now available online (Quicket), as well as at the gates on game days, with kids under 12 free. An added key highlight will be the Q&A session with Tshwane 10s ambassador Bakkies Botha and former Namibia captain Jacques Burger, which will take place before the 11h45 SA vs Namibia kickoff on Saturday 28 September.

National icon Bakkies Botha thrives on the festival year on year. “It’s a particular highlight of mine as we see over 100 sporting teams try their hand at their chosen sport. We give it all we’ve got whilst out at play, but post that final whistle we’re mates that’ll share the Loftus sunshine, beers and laughter; celebrating all that is good about life and South Africa. I personally look forward to meeting new people, playing the game I love and taking to the Loftus ground once again after countless years and many memories.”

Event details for the Tshwane 10s:

Venue: Loftus Versfeld and surrounding fields.

Date: 27 & 28 September 2019. 07h30 – 23h30 on both days.

Team entries: https://tshwane.10s.co.za/team-entries/

Sports: Dodgeball, Netball, Rugby, Hockey, Soccer

Gqoboka back for Vodacom Blue Bulls

Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka will make a timely return to the Vodacom Blue Bulls this weekend when they face the Cell C Sharks in their final Currie Cup clash at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. Gqoboka has been released from the Springbok squad for the match, one the home side must win to make the play-offs of the Currie Cup.

Marco van Staden, who like Gqoboka played against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld last weekend, returns to the team as well, while coach Pote Human kept faith with the remainder of the squad that returned from Johannesburg victoriously two weeks ago.

Gqoboka comes in for Dayan van der Westhuizen, who reverts to the bench, where a number of changes were made. Corniel Els makes a first appearance for the squad as back-up hooker, while Ruan Steenkamp is fit again and will play off the bench.

Human also handed a potential debut to Junior Springbok, Vaughen Isaacs, who replaces Marnitz Boshoff as back-up flyhalf.

“We know what we need to do, so our options are very clear cut,” Human said.

“We need to beat the Cell C Sharks by 12 points, with a bonus point and make sure they don’t get a bonus point. The job at hand cannot be clearer than that. So this is a quarterfinal match for us, if you like,” the coach said.

Ivan van Zyl will again lead the team and the scrumhalf indicated that the squad still have some rugby left to play.

“We are pretty determined to still be playing in three weeks’ time, come the final of the Currie Cup. Everyone is on the same page with the same mind-set. We have the quality in the squad to do this, we need to go out and prove that.”

The team is:

Divan Rossouw, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Dylan Sage, Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok, Ivan van Zyl (c), Tim Agaba, Wian Vosloo, Marco van Staden, Ruan Nortje, Andries Ferreira, Wiehahn Herbst, Johan Grobbelaar, Lizo Gqoboka. Replacements: Corne Els, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Conraad van Vuuren, Jean Droste, Ruan Steenkamp, Embrose Papier, Vaughen Isaacs, Stedman Gans.

Van Zyl to lead Vodacom Blue Bulls as Eksteen debuts

Ivan van Zyl will lead the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday when the Pretoria side travels south to meet the Xerox Golden Lions at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg, while UP-Tuks flanker, Fred Eksteen, will make his Vodacom Blue Bulls and Currie Cup debut.

Van Zyl will make a first start in the competition after playing off the bench twice so far and take the armband of injured Ruan Steenkamp.

Eksteen played his club rugby for UP Tuks before being named in the Vodacom Blue Bulls Currie Cup wider squad and takes over from Steenkamp at the side of the scrum. The flanker will run out along with Dayan van der Westhuizen and Johan Grobbelaar, who were both elevated into the starting team for Saturday’s clash against the undefeated home side.

Van der Westhuizen replaces injured Simphiwe Matanzima, while Grobbelaar swops places with Jaco Visagie, who reverts to the bench.

Wian Vosloo moves into the starting team as well to replace injured Marco van Staden.

In a fifth change to the pack, Andries Ferreira will start at lock, with Adre Smith moving back to the bench after being named a late starter against Tafel Lager Griquas when Ferreira was ruled out before kick-off.

Coach Pote Human left the backline intact, bar the Van Zyl swop with Embrose Papier, who will play off the bench.

Madot Makobela is the only newcomer on the bench, taking the place of Van der Westhuizen.

Human said although his hand was forced, it should not dampen the enthusiasm to face their Gauteng neighbours.

“The injury bogey did hit us hard and that on a weekend where one would have wanted to play with all your main players fit and ready. That said, the likes of Fred worked hard all season and now gets the chance to show what he can do. I would not have included him in our training squad in the first place if I did not trust his abilities,” Human said.

“We are now playing for pride and each player will have to show why they want to be part of this team in future.”

Van Zyl said the challenge is a huge one, but the team want to prove they belong.

“There are many if and buts when you look at our season, but ultimately the performances did not do justice to the effort of the coaching staff and the hopes of our supporters. We have two more rounds to redeem ourselves and everyone is determined to do just that and finish the season with some dignity and pride restored.”

The team is: Divan Rossouw, Cornal Hendricks, Johnny Kotze, Dylan Sage, Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok, Ivan van Zyl (c), Tim Agaba, Wian Vosloo, Fred Eksteen, Ruan Nortje, Andries Ferreira, Wiehahn Herbst, Johan Grobbelaar, Dayan van der Westhuizen.

Replacements: Jaco Visagie, Madot Mabokela, Conraad van Vuuren, Adre Smith, Jean Droste, Embrose Papier, Marnitz Boshoff, Stedman Gans.

Libbok back at pivot for Vodacom Blue Bulls

Flyhalf Manie Libbok will start at flyhalf for the Vodacom Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday when they take on Tafel Lager Griquas in round four of the Currie Cup, sponsored by Direct Axis Financial Services.

Libbok played off the bench last weekend in Nelspruit, where the Vodacom Blue Bulls edged Phakisa Pumas to claim their first win of the competition and coach Pote Human kept faith in those returning victorious from the Mbombela Stadium. Libbok swops jerseys with Marnitz Boshoff, who will finish the game while Stedman Gans is the only new face in the match day squad.

Gans has been fully integrated since his return from the Blitzboks last month and will play off the bench against the Kimberley side, the same team he made his debut against two seasons ago. He comes in for Jade Stighling. Human said it was easy to reward the Nelspruit victors.

“That was a hard-fought win for us over a much respected opponent at a venue where we battled in the past, so it was the right thing to reward the team who claimed that victory. The swop between Marnitz and Manie is purely tactical as we approach this match against Tafel Lager Griquas slightly different,” Human said.

“Also, it is nice to have Stedman back in the mix and I am keen to see him showing us what he is capable of. Jade did nothing wrong, but with Stedman in, we have a bit more flexibility in the back-line,” Human explained.

The coach held the reins in Kimberley before and warned his players to prepare for an onslaught.

“They will come at us hard, no doubt. They will be smarting after their defeat last weekend and probably have the most momentum of all teams in the competition.”

Ruan Steenkamp, who will lead the team into battle, said they are looking forward to play at home again.

“Our last outing at home did not go well, unfortunately, so we are keen to redeem ourselves. We must perform and I believe we can do so if we stick to our plan and approach and take the game to them. If we play at our pace and on our terms, we will be hard to beat.”

 The team is: 

  1. Divan Rossouw
  2. Cornal Hendricks
  3. Dylan Sage
  4. Johnny Kotze
  5. Rosko Specman
  6. Manie Libbok
  7. Embrose Papier
  8. Tim Agaba
  9. Marco van Staden
  10. Ruan Steenkamp (c)
  11. Ruan Nortje
  12. Andries Ferreira
  13. Wiehahn Herbst
  14. Jaco Visagie
  15. Simphiwe Matanzima

Replacements:

  1. Johan Grobbelaar
  2. Dayan van der Westhuizen
  3. Conraad van Vuuren
  4. Adri Smit
  5. Wihan Vosloo
  6. Andre Warner
  7. Marnitz Boshoff
  8. Stedman Gans