The Bulls on Monday confirmed that star openside flanker Marco van Staden will be leaving Loftus Versfeld at the end of June to further his career with English club Leicester Tigers.
Van Staden, more affectionately known as "Eskom" by his peers (for putting a few lights out over his career), quickly became a crowd favourite with his work-rate and physicality.
He excelled through the junior ranks at Loftus, working his way up and earning 29 Super Rugby caps and featuring in 18 Currie Cup matches.
The 25-year-old also played three Tests for the Springboks between 2018 and 2019.
"Marco is a phenomenal player, and is probably one of the most complete number sixes in the world currently. Situations like these are always met with mixed emotions, I never want to lose a player of his calibre, but I'm also excited and proud of the player he has become. We wish him all the best with his journey ahead and know he will grow from strength to strength and will be a massive asset for Leicester," Bulls director of rugby Jake White said in a statement.
Van Staden thanked the Bulls for the opportunities afforded to him: "My time at Loftus has been amazing to say the least. The Bulls have always backed me and helped me grow as a person on and off the field.
"I will forever be grateful for the opportunities and lessons from the Bulls family. To each and every person that has impacted my career thus far, the guys that I played with, the coaches and management, and the staff at Loftus, I sincerely thank you. I may be moving on, but I truly hope that our bond will remain."
It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to one of the proudest sons of Loftus: Marco van Staden. Thank you for all the big hits, steals and carries and good luck at Leicester Tigers?? You will be missed, Eskom.— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) March 8, 2021
Read the full press release here: https://t.co/rkJYmXFEg0 pic.twitter.com/0lCRGib2I0