On a day where the Bulls revealed one of their worst kept secrets in the signing of SA Under-20 superstar flyhalf Handrè Pollard, they also watched helplessly as another promising youngster Daniel Adongo is about to leave the kraal after just six months at Loftus Versfeld.
The 18-year-old Pollard, who is still a pupil at Paarl Gymnasium, was instrumental in guiding the Baby Boks to their first IRB Junior World Championship title two weeks ago and has been at the centre of a tug-of-war between the Blue Bulls and Western Province.
But the Bulls celebrations would have been short-lived as they will this week bid farewell to the giant Adongo who is allegedly on his way to New Zealand to play for ITM Cup side Counties Manukau.
Counties Manukau are coached by former All Black great Tana Umaga who was impressed after watching the Kenyan-born Adongo play in an exhibition match in Kenya and if Adongo lives up to his potential then his short-term contract could be extended beyond the ITM Cup which would mean that Adongo could play for the table-topping Chiefs in Super Rugby next year.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke confirmed that Adongo would be leaving the Bulls but was hopeful that Adongo would return in the not too distant future.
Adongo is the second loose forward to be released from his contract with the Bulls after CJ Stander announced his move to Irish club Munster at the end of the Super Rugby campaign.
“You never want to lose players with that much ability but one can understand that in both cases it is about playing opportunities and the financial benefits for both of them.
“At the Bulls we have released so many guys in the past and they have come back. We will stay in touch, follow their progress and hopefully they will come back,” Ludeke said.
Ludeke though would have found some joy yesterday with the news that Springbok flank Deon Stegmann is fit and will be available for selection ahead of Friday’s Super Rugby clash against the Sharks in Durban.
Stegmann, who has been out injured for five weeks with a fractured forearm, will throw the cat amongst the pigeons for Ludeke’s team selection.
While Stegmann is likely to start from the bench with Dewald Potgieter and Jacques Potgieter starting on the flanks, it is the in-form Stander that is likely to be the biggest loser by falling out of the match 22.