Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | SA Rugby

Paul Willemse © Gallo Images

Bulls sign SA U20 star



The Blue Bulls Rugby Union have pulled off another coup by signing top SA under-20 lock Paul Willemse from the Golden Lions.

Willemse is the second SA under-20 player signed since the national junior team won the IRB Junior World Championships, and will join his flyhalf Handre Pollard in Pretoria next year after the latter signed to move to Pretoria from Western Province.

But in Willemse’s case, the move is a big loss for the Lions, who already have their hands full with disciplinary measures for their coach John Mitchell, while their Super Rugby future is still uncertain.

Willemse burst onto the Super Rugby scene earlier this year, making a marked impact in his debut game for the Lions and putting in some massive hits, most notably on Cheetahs strongman Ashley Johnson.

He overcame a slow start at the Junior World Champs to secure a starting spot for the Baby Boks and was an integral part of the team that won the IRB tournament in spectacular fashion.

With the Bulls already short on No 4 locks, Willemse is seen as the perfect back-up to Flip van der Merwe and to be groomed into the enforcer role much as Bakkies Botha used to display at Loftus Versfeld.

The Bulls have capitalised on the uncertainty of the Lions Super Rugby status, and Willemse joins former teammate Grant Hattingh in Pretoria after the latter made the move at the end of the Super Rugby season.

Golden Lions acting CEO Ruben Moggee confirmed the move, although the Bulls still have to formally announce it.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport
days
:
hours
:
minutes
:
seconds

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Gavin Rich
Steyn provides significant boost to Boks
Having seen so many Springbok coaches come and go in the more than two decades since the end of...

Tony Johnson
Weighing up the collateral damage
As attention switches rapidly to the upcoming international programme, the three national coaches...

Brendan Venter
In a state of flux
While the Brumbies deserve credit for defeating the Stormers, I was irked by the match...

Brenden Nel
Ludicrous to blame it all on Frans
The cloud of despair that hangs over the Loftus Versfeld stadium will not disappear overnight, but...

Kyle Brown
Bloodied but unbowed
It will take a bit of time for the pain to settle and for us to realise that the sun will rise...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: the Super XV teams
It was a very bad year for South Africa in Super Rugby. That much was confirmed this past weekend...