The Last Piece Of The Bulls Fairy Tale – A Formal Pathway From Club To Pro Structures For Juniors


The turnaround at the Blue Bulls from a struggling Super Rugby Franchise to the pacesetter in South Africa is studied and dissected by the worldwide rugby fraternity.

It all started with the election of Willem Strauss as interim president in March 2018. He was re-elected unopposed in October 2018 for a full term of four years.

The success of all the union's professional teams since Willem's election is well documented. His rebuilding of the professional arm with the involvement of the Rupert and Motsepe families is also widely accepted as innovative as well as history-making.

Unfortunately, the only blemish on this near-perfect Blue Bulls blueprint was the lack of a credible pathway for the homegrown schoolboy and junior club players. The appointment of former Grey College head coach Wessel du Plessis was the first step to create such a pathway.

Du Plessis visited most of the clubs and accredited academies in Pretoria recently. His instructions were to identify talent and create a "formal" relationship with these recognised structures.

Du Plessis identified 13 players that were invited to trial with the u/20 Vodacom Bulls squad. Unfortunately, 5 players are not members of a medical aid and were unable to join the trials.

Du Plessis also confirmed that the u/20 Vodacom Bulls will train with the clubs and academies regularly which will help him to evaluate current players and newcomers.

The 13 players are: 1 - JW Mare - Tuks, 2 - Michael v Aswegen - Tuks, 3 - Kamohelo Tlome - Tuks, 4 - Junior Malela - QBR, 5 - Chibuzo Anrize - TUT, 6 - Brendan Cronje - Tuks, 7 - Brian Dosemba - Tuks, 8 - Sambe Galada - Tuks, 9 - Stephan Kruger - Tuks, 10 - Karabo Moahlodi, 11 - Chulumanca Mfakadolo, 12 - Bradley Mayekiso - Tuks, 13 - Chad-Lee Valentine - Tuks.