Currie Cup

Jake White denies Bulls move for Frans Steyn, warmer on Marcell Coetzee's future

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Cheetahs centre Frans Steyn during the Super Rugby Unlocked match against the Pumas in Bloemfontein on 10 October 2020.
Cheetahs centre Frans Steyn during the Super Rugby Unlocked match against the Pumas in Bloemfontein on 10 October 2020.
Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images
  • The Bulls aren't targeting Frans Steyn on loan for their inaugural PRO16 campaign next year, Jake White insists.
  • He has also dismissed another claim that Steyn's Cheetahs team-mate Junior Pokomela is also on Loftus' radar.
  • But the Bulls mentor is more emphatic about the longstanding rumour that Springbok and Ulster star Marcell Coetzee is eyeing a move to Pretoria.

Jake White has dismissed "rumours" of the Bulls targeting Frans Steyn to bolster their ranks as having "no truth".

A report last weekend stated that the former Springbok coach - who has worked extensively with the experienced 33-year-old, two-time World Cup winner previously - wants to organise a loan agreement with the Cheetahs for his team's inaugural PRO16 campaign next year.

"Everyone knows that I've coached him a lot over the years, but he has a contract with the Cheetahs. There's nothing going on in this regard," White said on Thursday, ahead of the Bulls' Currie Cup opener against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday.

"I'm not sure how things work there going forward. What I'm sure of though is that Frans would like to play some form of rugby before the British & Irish Lions tour next year. That doesn't mean he's going to the Bulls, that we're going to bring him to us. 

"His details are in place (in Bloemfontein)."

The Bulls' director of rugby was even more emphatic about their other claim of the report that Cheetahs stand-in skipper and flanker, Junior Pokomela, is also on Loftus' radar.

"We've got enough loose forwards and I don't think trying to lure him here is going to help his career," said White.

"We have (former Junior Springbok star) Muller Uys in the senior squad who hasn't played much to date. Then there are juniors like WJ Steenkamp and Jaco Labuschagne that we're bringing through our ranks. I can't see us leapfrogging him over guys that we already have in our system."

Intriguingly, however, White didn't exactly put the longstanding rumour that Springbok and Ulster star Marcell Coetzee is coming to Pretoria to bed.

"I talk to Marcell as often as I can," he said with a wry smile.

"I ask him what it's like playing in Europe and how it's going at Ulster. The reality is that there are contracts in place.

"We're trying to build a team here and we're in a fortunate position that our shareholders are visionaries and want to do well. Of course we're talking to anyone who we think can add value and are close to their current deals expiring. 

"Remember, legally you can't talk to a guy while he's still under contract. With Marcell, we're maybe not talking to him, but talking about him with our board members and CEO. In the long-term, we want to create a special team."

Kick-off at Newlands is at 19:00 on Saturday.

Teams:

Bulls

15 David Kriel, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Stedman Gans, 12 Cornal Hendricks, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Chris Smith, 9 Ivan van Zyl, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Walt Steenkamp, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Johan Grobbelaar, 1 Jacques van Rooyen

Substitutes: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Gerhard Steenekamp, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Clinton Swart, 23 Marco Jansen van Vuren  

Western Province

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Kwenzo Blose, 19 Neethling Fouche, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Chris van Zyl, 22 Jaco Coetzee, 23 Marcel Theunissen, 24 Godlen Masimla, 25 Tim Swiel, 26 Ruhan Nel

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Fixtures
Sat 23 Jan 21 14:00 PM (SAST)
Vodacom Bulls
Xerox Lions
Loftus Versfeld
Sat 23 Jan 21 16:30 PM (SAST)
DHL Western Province
Cell C Sharks
Cape Town
Sat 30 Jan 21 14:00 PM (SAST)
TBC
TBC
TBC
Results
Sun 10 Jan 21
Phakisa Pumas 44
Vodacom Bulls 14
Sat 09 Jan 21
Tafel Lager Griquas 18
Toyota Cheetahs 22
Sat 09 Jan 21
DHL Western Province 0
Cell C Sharks 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Vodacom Bulls
12
8
39
2. DHL Western Province
12
7
37
3. Cell C Sharks
12
7
35
4. Xerox Lions
12
6
34