Pretoria – Former Springboks Victor Matfield and Derick Hougaard have joined the Bulls coaching team for next year's Super Rugby campaign, the Pretoria union announced on Tuesday.
The Bulls said Matfield, the former Bok captain, would be the side's forwards and attack coach for the 2013 season and Hougaard was on board as the skills and kicking coach.
Blue Bulls Currie Cup mentor Pine Pienaar was also promoted to Super Rugby defence coach.
“I am excited to work with the coaches in their new roles and believe we have the right mix of personalities, skills and expertise to make 2013 a success,” said Bulls coach Frans Ludeke.
“Someone like Victor has so much experience to give back to our players and I am very excited to work with one of the sharpest rugby minds in the business.”
The union named national Under-20 star Handre Pollard among the extended squad of 53 players that will prepare for the 2013 season.
Two Lions players, Lionel Mapoe and Callie Visagie, were acquired on loan after the Johannesburg outfit lost their place in the Super Rugby competition, while Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse, who played Super Rugby for the Lions this year, and Marcel van der Merwe of the Cheetahs were signed to contracts with the Pretoria team.
Wynand Olivier, returning from a stint in Japan, was among 19 Springbok players on the roster.
“He will join us as soon as his club commitments end in Japan,” Ludeke said.
“His record at the Vodacom Bulls speaks volumes and Wynand will be an important player for us next year.” – Sapa