Jaco is back with the Bulls

By admin
12 March 2011

Nothing beats family – especially when that family is the Blue Bulls. Ask Jaco van der Westhuyzen. Even though the Bulls back played good rugby in Japan and he and his family enjoyed living there he always wanted to play for his beloved Bulls again.

Now Jaco (31) is back after a six-year sojourn with club side NEC Green Rockets – and he can’t wait to get stuck in and help the Pretoria team lift the Super 14 trophy again.

In his first four years with the Rockets he was in action at Loftus every Super 14 season and few people knew he travelled back to Japan with his family each August for his club’s local season.

The last time Bulls supporters saw Jaco on home soil was in 2007 when the Bulls won the Super 14 and he pulled off his jersey to reveal the words “Jesus is King” before climbing onto one of the goalposts.

The next season his Japanese team insisted he report for duty in May and he was sad to have to tell the Bulls he couldn’t run out for them. “So I missed their Super 14 campaign last year,” he says at his and 31-year-old wife Cornelda’s home in Marble Hall, Mpumalanga.

But those days are over, Jaco says firmly. He’s back for good and unconcerned he’s not yet in the Bulls’ starting line-up. He’s patiently waiting his turn on the reserve bench because “I live for the Bulls”.

It’s a familiar story but true nevertheless. “At the Bulls people care about one another. They’re all friends and will do anything for the others.”

That’s why Jaco didn’t hesitate when former teammates Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez approached him at the end of last year to return home to play. “My mates are missing me,” he told Cornelda and made up his mind then and there to return.

“He was like a Grade 1 kid on his first day at school when he started training with the Bulls again,” Cornelda says with a laugh.

*Read more about Jaco’s experiences in Japan and his future plans in YOU this week (18 March issue).

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