Blue Bulls name 2015 Currie Cup squad

New Blue Bulls coach Nollis Marais named an exciting squad for the upcoming
Currie Cup competition, with a number of Springboks amongst the group that will
try to win the coveted trophy for the first time in his tenure.

At the same time, the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd named a number of high
class contract extensions, confirming the Blue Bulls as preferred home for many
of the country’s most promising players.

Marais named the likes of Jesse Kriel, Jan Serfontein, Handre Pollard,
Rudy Paige, Victor Matfield, Marcel van der Merwe, Trevor Nyakane and Adriaan
Strauss in his extended group, but most of them are likely to be involved with
South Africa’s Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup campaigns
and could see very little if any Currie Cup action.

Even in their absence, the squad is packed with proven players that have won
the Currie Cup before, as well as a number of Springboks not part of national
coach Heyneke Meyer’s squad for 2015.

More rejuvenating for the coach though, is the new breed of talent bursting
through the senior ranks.

“This is exciting times for us,” Marais said when he announced
the squad in Pretoria on Tuesday.

“We have some of the best young players in the country who won national
titles at Under-19 and Under-21 level and excelled for the Junior Springboks
on the world stage. Coupled with that, we have some classy internationals available
for this campaign and I am pretty confidentthat we will be a very competitive
outfit this year,” Marais said.

“We are working very hard already. We are keen to get going and our
two warm-up matches (EP Kings in PE on July 17 and Canon, Japan on July 31)
will be very important in our preparations. We are an inexperienced squad in
that we have not played much together as a team, but all of these players are
true blue in attitude, commitment and passion, so we just need to execute a
game plan to complement their talent,” Marais said.

” The High Performance Manager at the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd,
Xander Janse van Rensburg, at the same time confirmed a number of high profile
contract extensions.

The headline signing is fullback Jesse Kriel, who extended his BBC contract
till October 2018.

“We are very pleased to have Jesse highlighting the huge number of younger
squad players extending their contracts,” Janse Van Rensburg said.

“There can be no doubt that we are continuously attracting the best
talent in the country to Pretoria and it is very satisfying to see them wanting
to stay on. This is a good indication that players are happy at the way they
develop here and at the opportunities we provide to them to play at a very competitive
level.”

The players who signed extensions are:

Current Junior Springboks RG Snyman, Hanro Liebenberg, Ivan van Zyl, Abongile
Nonkontwana, Njabulo Gumede (all till October 2017) and Jason Jenkins till October
2018.

*Warrick Gelant and Tinus de Beer are contracted till October 2016 and JT
Jackson till October 2017.

“The rest of the Blue Bulls Currie Cup management team has also been confirmed,
with former Springbok and Bulls hooker Gary Botha joining the fray as technical
consultant (forwards).

The rest of the support staff are:
– John-William Meyer (Technical)
– Andre Volsteedt (Strength and Conditioning)
– Stephen Plummer (Rehab)
– Karabo Morokane (Physio)
– Pieter du Plessis (Physio)
– Elzanne van Coller (Masseuse)
– Dr Org Strauss (Team Doctor)
– Tim Dlulane (Team Manager)
– Elias Bennet (Kit Master)

The 2015 Currie Cup squad is:

Fullback: Jesse Kriel (Springboks), Jurgen Visser, Jacques

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