Engelbrecht going nowhere - Bulls
The Vodacom Blue Bulls have rubbished reports that the Southern Kings are about to snatch up the signature of Springbok JJ Engelbrecht for the 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
It was reported in Die Burger on Tuesday that the Kings are in the final stages of negotiations to snap up Engelbrecht, who is from Port Elizabeth and attended Grey High School to “return home” and play for the Kings.
But Blue Bulls Company CEO Barend van Graan said from London there was no way the team would release Engelbrecht.
“It isn’t an option,” Van Graan told supersport.com, reiterating the Bok had a contract until the end of the 2013 season, and would be going nowhere.
Engelbrecht signed from the Stormers at the end of last season, and surprisingly became a Bok quickly in June before being dropped ahead of the away leg of the Castle Rugby Championship. But with his house-mate Johann Sadie leaving Pretoria after an unhappy season, Engelbrecht is seen as the natural successor to play 13 and wing in next year’s competition.
The Kings, meanwhile, now sit with egg on their faces -- especially after their big announcement last week that Bok Bandise Maku and two overseas players would be joining them seems to have fallen through.
Maku tweeted shortly afterwards that he knew nothing of the move and had not signed anything, while Argentinean Nicholas Vergallo has not been released from his French club Toulouse.
In a separate move, the Blue Bulls CEO also confirmed he had turned down a request from Bulls front ranker Frik Kirsten to be released to join Biarritz.
Kirsten is still in contract with the Bulls for another year, and with Rossouw de Klerk and Rayno Gerber both released from their contracts, the Bulls have decided they can’t let another prop go.
The Bulls have also signed Free State prop Marcel van der Merwe for the coming season.