Super Rugby

Mitchell asks for R90m to help solve Bulls' problems

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John Mitchell (Gallo Images)
John Mitchell (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - John Mitchell has reportedly requested R90 million from the Bulls board to help turn the franchise into a dominant force in Super Rugby again.

READ: Why the unhealthy obsession with Mitchell?

According to Netwerk24, Mitchell requested the amount at a recent meeting with the union’s top brass.

The report added that Mitchell was interested in signing luring Springboks Duane Vermeulen (unattached), Schalk Brits (unattached), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks) and SA under-20 star Wandisile Simelane (Golden Lions) to Pretoria.

It is believed that Mitchell’s request did not go down well with some members of the Bulls board.

Those against it questioned the team’s Super Rugby season in which they finished bottom of the South African Conference and 12th overall after winning just six out of 16 matches.

It was the Bulls' worst ever Super 15 season, having never lost fewer than seven matches in previous 15-team Super Rugby tournaments.

Mitchell recently said he would only sign a contract extension if the Bulls allowed him to buy new players, as he believes the current crop is simply not good enough.

In recent years, the Bulls have had to get the cheque book out on numerous occasions to lure players to Pretoria.

Springboks like Warrick Gelant, Jessie Kriel, Handre Pollard, Adriaan Strauss and Lood de Jager were all lured up country from other provinces.

Some of them were signed straight after school, while others made the trek later in their careers.

Depth appears to be an issue at the union and they may have to spend more on luring top juniors in the near future.

The Blue Bulls struggled at this year’s Craven Week, with their first-choice team losing all three of their matches to Free State (38-21), Boland (19-17) and WP XV (20-16).

It is believed that the Bulls player budget was R68 million last year, so the union will have to fork out considerably more if Mitchell’s wishes are to be granted.

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