Super Rugby

Bulls say 'goodbye' to Serfontein

Jan Serfontein (Gallo)
Jan Serfontein (Gallo)

Pretoria - Saturday's clash between the Bulls and the Stormers at Loftus may be the last time we see Jan Serfontein playing Super Rugby for some time. 

Exactly where Serfontein will be playing next season is unclear, but he has confirmed that he will be relocating to France. 

The timing is made even worse from a Bulls perspective given the 24-year-old's return to form this season. 

He has been one of very few shining lights in what has been a disastrous season for the Bulls, while he also made the step up to give a seriously impressive Springbok performance in their 3-0 Test series win over France in June. 

The midfield partnership of Serfontein and Jesse Kriel was the Bulls' contribution to the Bok cause this year, and coach Nollis Marais acknowledges that losing Serfontein is a huge blow to the Bulls. 

"Jan is a good rugby player and it's a massive loss, especially with the rugby he is playing at the moment," Marais said on the eve of his final match as the Bulls' Super Rugby coach. 

"That's the nature of South African rugby. I don't think he will be the last guy. If you can't match the money, they will all leave."

Marais said that the demand from Europe for South African-based players made it really difficult for the franchises and unions to hold onto their assets. 

"If they see they are not in the Springbok mix, you're not going to keep them here," he said.

"If I pay you R1 to run one metre and somebody else pays you R20 to run that same metre ... it's difficult to match that.

"The demand at the moment out there ... the money is just crazy. We need to keep them in South Africa ... we'll have to do something else."

On Saturday, Serfointein will be up against one of his biggest rivals for the Springbok No 12 jersey in Damian de Allende. 

Kick-off is at 15:05.

Teams:

Bulls

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Duncan Mathews, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Rudy Paige, 8 Nick de Jager, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Shaun Adendorff, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Conraad van Vuurren, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Pierre Schoeman

Substitutes: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 John-Roy Jenkinson, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Ruan Steenkamp, 21 Piet Van Zyl, 22 Tony Jantjies, 23 Burger Odendaal 

Stormers

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Dan Kriel

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