Cape Town - Former Springbok wing Ray Mordt says the Bulls were by far the best of the South African contingent in this year's Super Rugby competition.
South Africa's participation ended this past weekend after the Bulls lost 35-28 to the Hurricanes in Wellington and the Sharks went down 38-13 to the Brumbies in Canberra.
In an interview with Netwerk24, Mordt said the Bulls can hold their heads high.
"They could actually have won their quarter-final against the Hurricanes. It so sad that they are now losing world-class players like Handre Pollard and RG Snyman."
Other top players set to leave include Jesse Kriel, Lood de Jager and Duane Vermeulen.
"Next season will be a building process for the Bulls… they could have reached great heights if they continued with the group that played this season," Mordt added.
Mordt added that the manner in which the Bulls played "brought hope" for South African rugby.
"It was really just a pity they lost a few games at home that shouldn't have happened. But I do feel with the new management they are doing things right and if they build on this, then they can again become a force."