FILE - Ivan van Zyl of the Vodacom Bulls. Photo: Steve Haag/ BackpagePix
FILE - Ivan van Zyl of the Vodacom Bulls. Photo: Steve Haag/ BackpagePix

Bulls confirm Ivan van Zyl departure: ‘Thank you for allowing me to chase my dreams’

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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Ashfak Mohamed

CAPE TOWN - “IT’S not goodbye, but rather until we see each other again.” That was the word from scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl to the Bulls on Tuesday after the Pretoria union confirmed his imminent departure to Saracens in England.

Rumours of Van Zyl leaving Loftus Versfeld for north London have been around for months, and on Tuesday, the Bulls said in a statement that the Springbok halfback will join Saracens at the end of June.

That means the 25-year-old will be available to Jake White’s team for the first few months of the new Rainbow Cup – which will involve all the PRO16 sides from Europe – that starts in mid-April.

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Having earned six Test caps in 2018, Van Zyl missed out on the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, and will hope that being based in the northern hemisphere will help develop his game even further for Test rugby.

He was in excellent form last season for the Bulls, sparking their attack in both triumphant Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup campaigns, where his service from the base was quick, while he also took on the opposition with ball-in-hand.

“Ivan has led our backline alongside the veteran Morné Steyn extremely well, and his keen sense of the game has served our game plan perfectly,” White said on Tuesday. “His direct approach, speed and strength will be a massive boost for Saracens, and we know that he will be an asset to them and wish him well.”

Born and bred in Pretoria, this may not be the last time Van Zyl wears the light-blue jersey, though. “I’ve always wanted to play for this team, having grown up in Pretoria and watching the likes of Fourie du Preez and company,” he said.

“I must thank all involved at Loftus Versfeld for backing me and allowing me to chase my dreams. It’s not goodbye, but rather until we see each other again, and I wish all my fellow Bulls players the best of luck.”

The Bulls will be back in action on Sunday in the Preparation Series against Eastern Province at Loftus Versfeld (3pm kickoff), where a number of the extended squad are set to get some game time.


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