Strauss to sign with Bulls in transfer deal of the year

2014-07-26 00:00

THE Bulls look set to have completed the biggest signing of the season after the Cheetahs confirmed they had given up on keeping captain Adriaan Strauss in Bloemfontein.

As reported earlier, Strauss is set to sign at the Bulls and possibly lead them in next year’s Super Rugby tournament and beyond in a deal that will go down as the transfer deal of the year locally.

Along with his fellow Cheetahs players Trevor Nyakane and Lappies Labuschagne, Strauss will see the Bulls once again dominate the local market as they hope to shake off a lacklustre Super Rugby season this year and return to being the premier South African franchise in the competition.

The Cheetahs released a three-paragraph statement confirming they had given up the fight for Strauss, despite a higher offer and increased pressure from businessmen in Bloemfontein to keep him in the Central franchise.

And while Strauss has kept mum on the whole matter, it is expected that he will sign with the Bulls in the next few days, with an official announcement probably on Monday.

“Despite every effort, the Free State Cheetahs (Pty) Ltd has regretfully been unable to come to terms with Adriaan Strauss on the renewal of his contract,” the Cheetahs statement said. “Initial negotiations over financial terms were met. However, other factors precluded the Free State Cheetahs from coming to an agreement with the player.

“We … wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Strauss met with the Bulls when the transfer season opened looking for a new opportunity after several attempts from the Pretoria franchise in the past to lure him back to Pretoria were unsuccessful.

Strauss left the Bulls after making his Super Rugby debut for them as a 21-year-old and playing his junior rugby at Loftus before deciding to move back to Bloemfontein at the end of 2007.

Part of the problem was also that Strauss has two businesses in the city and significant pressure was put on him to stay in Bloemfontein, prompting a drawn-out process.

He is likely to slot in ahead of Callie Visagie and Bandise Maku, after hooker Bongi Mbonambi decided not to renew his contract and signed with the Stormers for the forthcoming season.

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