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GBS just contacted me from the Media Day at the Bulls with the following news:

Firstly Pierre Spies is Captain and Wynand Olivier will be Vice Captain after recovering from surgery (today) and is expected to be out of rugby for 2 months.

They also introduced the new young players and recent signings, amongst them the following players:

  • Daniel Adongo
  • Johann Sadie
  • JJ Engelbrecht
  • Lionel Cronje

Another interesting point is that Wesley Dunlop, former Tukkies Captain and who played for the Leopards in the Currie Cup has also been added to the Bulls mix.


Here’s the formal Press Release we received via mail from Ian Schwatz, High Performance Manager at the Bulls:

Thirteen Springboks, two Springboks Sevens representatives and 23 players with Super Rugby experience are amongst those who are currently training with the Vodacom Bulls ahead of the 2012 Vodacom Super Rugby season.

The wider training group of the Bulls consists of 15 players who have won tournament medals with the squad in previous years. Four players, Lionel Cronjé and Johann Sadie (Stormers), Jano Vermaak and Wilhelm Steenkamp (Cheetahs) played for other franchises in 2011, while Willie Wepener, who played for the Lions in previous years, recently returned from French club Clermont.

Dawie Steyn (Pumas) and Daniel Adongo (Sharks) are new recruits.

The youth policy followed by the Union this year also resulted in numerous junior players being involved in the squad.

This includes SA u.20 players Arno Botha, Francois Venter, Ulrich Beyers, Jean Cook (signed from Cheetahs) and Bongi Mbonambi.

Members of the Absa u.21 Cup-winning Blue Bulls side also train with the squad, including Sampie Mastriet, Clayton Blommetjies, Adri Jacobs and Franco Mostert.

LB Lusaseni, who is contracted at the Leopards, also trains with the squad, although the Lions have first option on his eventual services.

Commenting on the pre-season training, Vodacom Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke warned that hard work awaits the squad.

“We have lost some great players due to retirements and overseas contracts, but I am excited about the change of guard within the squad. We had a proud history in Super Rugby in recent times and will work very hard to emulate that,” Ludeke said.

The Bulls will stay at Loftus Versfeld for pre-season training this year and not travel to George for a training camp.


The wider training group is (*indicates players not part of previous squads):


Zane Kirchner, Jurgen Visser*, Lionel Cronjé*, Clayton Blommetjies*, Bjorn Basson, JJ Engelbrecht*, Sampie Mastriet*, Akona Ndungane, Ulrich Beyers*, Adri Jacobs*, Wynand Olivier, Johann Sadie*, Francois Venter*, Louis Fouché*, Morné Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Ruan Snyman, Jano Vermaak*.


Pierre Spies (Captain), CJ Stander, Arno Botha*, Gerrit-Jan van Velze, Daniel Adongo*, Jean Cook*, Dewald Potgieter, Jacques Potgieter*, Jono Ross*, Warwick Tecklenburg*, Deon Stegmann, Juandré Kruger, Mthunzi Mabeta, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Flip van der Merwe, LB Lusaseni*, Cornell Hess*, Franco Mostert*, Werner Kruger, Rossouw de Klerk, Frik Kirsten, Dean Greyling, Morné Mellett, Dawie Steyn*, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Willie Wepener*, Robbie Coetzee*, Bongi Mbonambi*.


This is the official news about and from the Captains:

Incumbent Springboks eight man, Pierre Spies, will lead the Vodacom Bulls in the 2012 Vodacom Super Rugby competition, with another experienced test player, Wynand Olivier, his deputy.

It will be a first for Spies to lead the Vodacom Bulls. He takes over from the now retired Victor Matfield, who led the side in Super Rugby for a record 75 times.

Spies, who’s dad (Pierre snr) also played for the Blue Bulls, admits that the captaincy is a massive honour.

“It was not such a big surprise though, as I had it in the back of my mind that I could be asked to lead the team when Victor retired. I was privileged in my career at the Bulls and the Springboks to play with great captains and I could certainly learn a lot from them.”

Spies, who made his Super Rugby debut in 2005 and has played for the Bulls 72 times, said he will try and lead from the front.

“I would like to try and do that. I believe a captain should lead from the front and I hope that will be something that I can do successfully. There are huge challenges ahead, but we are all looking forward to that. This group is younger than in previous years, but we have the same goals as those squads and that is to win the competition.”

Olivier, who was the regular vice-captain during the recent Currie Cup campaign, is also keen on his role.

“I like that responsibility. Anyone who wants to write off the Bulls because we lost players, do so at their own peril. I think we have a squad that can with the competition again. There are new faces, so there will be a challenge to make sure all share the same vision, but I see no problems in that. We have a great management team and coaching staff and they will get everyone to pull in the same direction.”

Incidentally, both Spies en Olivier attended Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool (Affies) and represented the Blue Bulls at schools level first before going on to represent the union at junior and senior level.

●Numerous Bulls players in the squad have excelled as captains. Chiliboy Ralepelle and Dewald Potgieter both captained the Springboks in a tour match and Wilhelm Steenkamp has captained the Blue Bulls in Currie Cup and Cheetahs in Super Rugby before.

Gerrit-Jan van Velze, CJ Stander and Arno Botha are all former captains of the South African u.20 team that played in the Junior World Cup tournament.

41 Responses to Spies appointed as Bulls Captain for Super Rugby 2012

  • 1

    Jan Spies !

  • 2

    Jacobs? Are they going the Sharks route by employing an “Oupa”

  • 3

    Super, die ‘AD Jacobs’ is ‘Adri Jacobs’ van die 0/21 Bulle span, nie oom Adi van die Sharks nie.

  • 4

    For a non Bulls supporter, Spies is a bit of a surprise as cappie.

  • 5

    4: volgens gesprekke uit die Bulle kamp het die spelers groot respek vir hom as speler en mens, so die besluit maak sin. Ekself sou tevrede gewees het met Spies of Chili, hopelik sal die kapteinskap weer Spies se spelpeil lig.

  • 6

    Backs: Zane Kirchner, Jurgen Visser*, Lionel Cronjé*, Clayton Blommetjies*, Bjorn Basson, JJ Engelbrecht*, Sampie Mastriet*, Akona Ndungane, Ulrich Beyers*, Adri Jacobs*, Wynand Olivier, Johann Sadie*, Francois Venter*, Louis Fouché*, Morné Steyn, Francois Hougaard, Ruan Snyman, Jano Vermaak*.

  • 7

    kyk hoe haal mastriet vir basson uit die begin span uit hy is kookwater gewees by u21 span

  • 8

    @ ben_die_bul:

    Hmmm gewonder oor AD Jacobs hahaha, dankie dat jy dit opgeklaar het, was besig om erg beangs te raak hehehe

  • 9

    @ smallies72:

    Smallies kan Mastriet nie op die ander vleuel speel nie? Imagine om beide Basson en Mastriet op vleuel te he?

  • 11

    @ ben_die_bul:
    Ben, then I am pleased for him. I have a DVD of his testimony. Seems like a really good guy. Its just that he has nver come across as one of the leaders in the team.

  • 12

    First the Bulls get rid of the Bulls babes, and replace them with with a bunch of fat lesbians. Now they overlook Chilliboy for the Invisible Pierre as captain.

    Things will not go well in Bulltoria next year.

  • 13

    12: maar dan is daar altyd die volgende jaar ….

  • 14

    13@ ben_die_bul:
    Nie met The Invisible Pierre as julle kaptein nie. En sonder die oorspronklike Bulls Babes.

  • 15

    11: soos ‘n geduldige jong prins het hy sy beurt afgewag totdat die ouer kapteins uitgetree of oorsee gaan speel het (Gary, Vic, FDP, en selfs Bakkies se geskiedkundige kapteinsbeurt teen die Stormers laasjaar toe hy vir Aplon ‘skoon geboul’ het).

    Die kapteinskap gaan Spies nou dwing om baie meer van voor te lei, soos Vic. Met lang seisoen gaan ouens soos Chili en Dewald (dalk ook Steenekamp) ook die kapteinsrol moet vervul. Hoe meer leiers, hoe beter vir enige span.

  • 16

    At least it means that They won’t sell P Spies or Meisiekind to the WP retirement fund for at least another year

  • 17

    I was a bit surprised at this. I see Wynand is vice. But I am not in the know not being close to the union. Lets give the man a chance and wait and see.

  • 18


    Had a wonderful day with the Bulls!!

    Man, the other Unions have reason to be jealous…. this is the most honest, open and approachable bunch of guys… not shy to answer questions straight up.

    We talked about a lot of things…

    Spoke to Barend van Graan about the merits and demerits of a Global Rugby Season, about cross-hemisphere Franchise rugby and also about playing the winners of something like Heineken Cup vs Super Rugby champs.

    Spoke to Heyneke Meyer about conditioning vs all out rest for players, about him coaching the Bokke or not, about what is needed in a squad to win a Super Rugby Competition.

    Spoke to Ian Schwartz and some of the new recruits as well as newish recruits who have just played Currie Cup already for the Blue Bulls…

    Listened to both Frans Ludeke and Heyneke Meyer’s vision for the new season… can tell you one thing – this Bulls side is going to be fit and conditioned like never before, prior to the Competition.

    The new recruits are hungry to play for the Bulls and very excited.

    We drank a bunch of “liquid refreshments” together, players excluded…. and eventually ended on a few shooters…. had a lovely meal at Leriba Lodge, then had a few more toots.

    Back on the bus to Loftus and we all shook hands like old pals….

    I am proud to call myself a Bulls supporter!

  • 19

    A broader squad of 46 players was announced… and although some of the old hands and a hell of a lot of experience has departed, the new signings and depth in the squad is awesome… there is really not one position where depth is not at least 2 Super Rugby quality players.

    Think about it this way… here’s my possible run-on 15 for Super Rugby…

    1. Dean Greyling (brief Springbok)
    2. Chiliboy Ralepelle (seasoned Springbok)
    3. Werner Kruger (brief Springbok)
    4. Flip van der Merwe (Springbok) / Gerrit-Jan van Velze
    5. Juandre Kruger / Wilhelm Steenkamp
    6. Deon Stegmann (Springbok) / Arno Botha
    7. Jacques Potgieter / Dewald Potgieter (Springbok)
    8. Pierre Spiere Spies (seasoned Springbok) / CJ Stander
    9. Francois Hougaard (seasoned Springbok) / Jano Vermaak
    10. Morné Steyn (seasoned Springbok)
    11. Bjorn Basson (Springbok)
    12. Wynand Olivier (seasoned Springbok – who had an operation today) / Francois Venter
    13. Johann Sadie
    14. JJ Engelbrecht / Akona Ndungane (seasoned Springbok)
    15. Zane Kirchner (Springbok)

    That means recent Springboks in 13 of the 15 positions, bar No 5 lock and outside center…. but with future Springbok candidates in those 2 positions ready to make their mark.

    Flokkit, you guys should see the size of the humble Kenian, Daniel Adongo…. hope he plays as big as he looks….

    What the Bulls have lost in the form of experience, they have certainly made up in astute signings with masses of potential.

    The Bulls vision is not to be good, but to be GREAT and I can tell you, Heyneke Meyer is much more envolved than I thought he was and sits squarly behind the vision and the planning…

    Watch out world…. watch out!

    Maybe not in 2012 already… but soon enough this team will the the premier Franchise in the World again!

  • 20

    Well now for the long wait, will it take a uproar from our Legends to wake up the Bull or does Heynecke really have that magic touch?
    If Heynecke is not stolen by SARU to coach the Boks, this new season will finally proof how good he is. This team does not have the same type of experience the Matfield clan had. Can we expect the Bulls with less firepower to implement that same game plan.

    I think the new bunch must use a new approach and game plan , and build on it till that is perfected. I am willing to wait a season if the road they take is clear.

  • 21

    Should have first said Congrats to Pierre, Congratulations i was a great supporter of his dad and i can just imagine how proud he would have been. This family have deep roots in Blue Bull rugby and this is a great achievement for Pierre. I wish him well.

  • 22

    20 @ superBul:
    Heyneke Meyer won’t be Bok coach… have established that beyound doubt today at the function… unless some miracles happen!

  • 23

    @ grootblousmile:
    OK, then he can concentrate on his job and help Frans.

  • 24

    Heyneke Meyer is of the opinion that one needs to meet certain criteria to be able to win Super Rugby, as a squad… and I get the impression that he does not think the current squad meets all those criteria… the most important missing ingrediant being experience which was depleted with departing players.

    He mentions that it is also vital to have about 5 “Captains” in the squad… and there I feel the Bulls meet the criteria… Chiliboy, Pierre Spies, Dewald Potgieter, Wilhelm Steenkamp and no less than 3 or 4 recent Junior Bokke and Junior Bulls captains.

    He has some other vital criteria s well… he is meticulous, a clear thinker and one hell of a planner.

    What excites me are the hungry new talents like Sadie, Engelbrecht…

    We could well see a slightly different Bulls game plan or approach as well, as Frans Ludeke and Heyneke Meyer alluded to… with changes in the kicking tactics and also with an emphasis on very good on-field dicipline, something which was lacking in 2011.

  • 25

    23 @ superBul:
    He’s doing more than helping, the sly fox is at the helm of planning and strategising….

  • 26

    Some tweets by the Bulls players

    DewaldPotgieter For the sake of those that sincerely care: My ankle rehab is going on strong. Will start running like a magnificent steed on 4th of Jan.

    Pierrespies8 Thanx for all the msg’s evryone-looking forward to lead new generation Bulls!

  • 27

    so by the way waar is admin chat?

  • 28

    27 @ superBul:
    Het hom vir eers afgehaal, hy het kak gemaak want hy het korrup geraak en queries op page loading veroorsaak wat stront veroorsaak het.

    Sal hom, of ‘n ander Chat window inbou vir ons Admins.

  • 29

    Here’s a picture of Barend van Graan and journalist Wim van den Berg… at this stage we had all had a few liquid refreshments….

    Barend van Graan - Bulls CEO and Wim van den Berg - Journalist

  • 30

    @ grootblousmile:
    Oom Barend se conditioning lyk of dit aandag nodig het. Delighted

  • 31

    30 @ superBul:

    Dit het!

    Ou Barend het al beginne by die Bulle ek dink in 1983… so hy loop al lang pad…. sy seun is mos voorspelerafrigter by die Bulls ook.

  • 32


    Great pic there Tripples….One for the girls eigh!! ;-)

  • 33

    32 @ Blue Bird:
    I put the pics up… for you girls… hahaha

  • 34

    @ grootblousmile:

    How thoughtful….!! :-) Btw is Spies Captain material do you think?

  • 35

    29@ grootblousmile:
    Were you guys pole dancing? Sies man shame on the Bulls and you.

  • 36

    @ grootblousmile:
    Can you please find out if there is ANY chance that the old Bulls babes will make a comeback? Please refer Barend et al to my post
    Loosehead wrote:

    First the Bulls get rid of the Bulls babes, and replace them with with a bunch of fat lesbians. Now they overlook Chilliboy for the Invisible Pierre as captain.
    Things will not go well in Bulltoria next year.

  • 37

    35 @ Loosehead:
    No pole dancing, more like clutching onto the umbrella pole…. to keep upright.

    Barend & Wim was al bietjie moeg…. hehehe

  • 38

    36 @ Loosehead:
    No chance…. the Previous Bulls Babes were managed by an Arsehole who claimed the right and title of the trade name, “Bulls Babes” for himself and his company.

    They were fired, there were court cases… they will not be appointed ever again.

    … but you are right, there were some nice Babes amongst them and their dancing routines was very professional…

    The whispering idiot’s (whatshisname… Rugby TV presenter) wife, is now in charge of the Bulls Babes…

  • 39

    38@ grootblousmile:
    Well just for that I will NOT support them as my main team in the S15. GO VRYSTAAAAAAT!

  • 40

    39 @ Loosehead:
    You were NOT going to support them anyways…. jou Ingelse Vrystater!

  • 41

    Hmmm. I’ll take the 5th on my opinion of PS as captain.

    He’ll have to convince me.

    I was under the impression that Wesley Dunlop and his younger brother had both signed for the Lions, but I have been away from the news for a while so may have missed something somewhere.


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