PRETORIA – In an effort to retain their top players and keep them financially satisfied, the Blue Bulls have released Currie Cup captain Hanro Liebenberg, scrumhalf André Warner and loose forward-cum-lock Hendré Stassen to French outfit Stade Francais on short-term deals until next year’s Super Rugby.
In the same way players like Super Rugby captain Burger Odendaal, Springbok locks RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins play for the Bulls in Super Rugby and for their Japanese outfits afterwards, Liebenberg, Stassen and Warner will return just in time for Super Rugby next year.
The trio will join up with former Bulls Super Rugby-winning coach Heyneke Meyer, who has been put in charge of the Paris outfit, while former Bulls and Springbok defence coach John McFarland, and ex-Bulls strength and conditioning coach André Volsteedt, also form part of the team’s management.
“In the long-term, this really assists us in retaining players within the SA Rugby structures.
“But more importantly, it gives our guys the opportunity to gain more international experience,” said Xander Janse van Rensburg, the high performance manager at the BBC.
Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has recently signed to join the Bulls for next year’s Super Rugby campaign, after spending the last three seasons playing for French giants Toulon.
The Bulls are yet to announce a new Super Rugby head coach after the departure of John Mitchell two months ago, with incumbent Currie Cup coach Pote Human and former captain Victor Matfield the front-runners to take over the reins.