Another coup for Bulls as they land gifted Griquas skipper Zak Burger

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Zak Burger, Griquas' influential scrumhalf
Zak Burger, Griquas' influential scrumhalf
  • The Bulls have already lined up one replacement for the departing Ivan van Zyl by signing Zak Burger.
  • The 22-year-old Griquas captain has been on the radar for some time and was always going to attract attention with his pedigree as Junior Springbok and being a key player in Kimberley.
  • Bulls mentor Jake White didn't earlier confirm Burger's candidacy, but stated that the franchise will be signing two scrumhalves imminently.

The Bulls have addressed the imminent departure of Ivan van Zyl by recruiting Griquas captain Zak Burger.

While the Loftus-based franchise is yet to make an official announcement, the Peacock Blues confirmed the 22-year-old halfback's departure on Friday.

He will do so with immediate effect as the Bulls need him to familiarise himself with the setup quickly before April's Rainbow Cup.

Van Zyl, whose form surged last season, is joining English giants Saracens mid-year.  

A key member of the Junior Springboks' 2018 vintage, Burger made waves at the end of that year by deciding against working his way through the Sharks' youth structures and opting for senior rugby at a so-called smaller union.

The move has clearly paid rich dividends as the nippy scrumhalf quickly established himself as one of the most gifted young players in his position.

Known for his incisive attacking eye, Burger has become a fine reader of the game with kicking ability that has the potential to become world-class.

Having been installed as skipper for the majority of the 2020/21 season in Kimberley attests to his leadership qualities.

Unsurprisingly, Scott Mathie, Griquas' head coach, has mixed feelings over losing one of his prized assets.

"Obviously having a player of Zak's calibre leave us is not ideal but we at pride ourselves on giving players opportunities when they present themselves and we believe Zak has the talent and right mindset to become a Springbok in the near future," he said in a statement.

"His leadership qualities will also be missed and he is a great man to have in any rugby setup and culture. He will definitely be missed by his team-mates and the rest of the management, but we really do wish him all the best. He deserves everything good that comes his way."

Jake White, the Bulls director of rugby, earlier on Friday said that the side was actively working addressing Van Zyl's void without mentioning candidates.

"We're going to sign a couple of No 9s. It hasn't been announced yet, but we're getting them in the place of Ivan," he said.

At least one of those are now known.

Burger's younger brother, flyhalf Jandre, is on the Bulls' bench for the weekend's game.

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