Super Rugby

Sintu Manjezi: Bulls will be driven to win and dominate

Sintu Manjezi (Gallo)
Sintu Manjezi (Gallo)

  • Sintu Manjezi will join the Bulls from the Cheetahs on 1 July, following a weeks-long dispute over his services between his former and new employer.
  • Manjezi admitted the period of uncertainty was tough on him but his representatives kept him calm and reassured him the best solution would be found.
  • Jake White has recruited heavily in the pack, including locks Manjezi, Walt Steenkamp and Jan Uys, as well as bringing a "Galacticos" of Springbok-capped internationals.
  • The 25-year-old says he hopes to learn and grow under White's tutelage.

New Bulls second row recruit Sintu Manjezi says he's excited to join a team he expects to be fiercely competitive in Super Rugby and look to dominate under director of rugby Jake White.

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The 25-year-old's place in White's renaissance project was confirmed this week after weeks of hold up due to a legal attempt from his former team, the Cheetahs, to keep him in Bloemfontein.

Manjezi joins what's quickly becoming a rugby "Galactios" in Pretoria, which includes returning World Cup-winning No 8 Duane Vermeulen, Springboks Nizaam Carr and Marcel van der Merwe

"Having players around who have achieved so much success, such as Duane, and others who have been recruited, will give the Bulls a chance of competing in Super Rugby next year," Manjezi told Sport24.

"The players are going to be driven to be the best and to perform in the competition and that’s Jake's attitude and mentality.

"They are not just going to look to compete but they are going to want to win games and look to dominate."

Manjezi, who has played in the second and back row for the Southern Kings, Griquas and the Cheetahs, said the chance to join a White-coached team presented a gilt-edged opportunity to learn from one of the best coaches around.

"I'm excited to get the opportunity to join the Bulls and play Super Rugby," he said.

"And, obviously, I'm also excited to work with Jake White. He's a coach with a good history and he's won at a lot of places he’s been at and, of course, the World Cup with South Africa.

"Working with such a high-calibre coach will always benefit my game, so I'm just willing to learn as much as I can and to improve as a player.

"All coaches are driven to win and no one plays to not win. And I won’t have a problem working with a coach that's so driven to win.

"For me, it's about learning as much as I can from him."

For a few weeks after Sport24 first reported that Manjezi was en route to Pretoria, it appeared as though his dream move to the Bulls could fall through.

Sunday weekly City Press reported that a legal battle loomed in the fight for Manjezi's services, after it transpired that the lock agreed to a two-year extension to remain in Bloemfontein.

However, Manjezi hadn't signed the new offer, which left room for the Bulls to swoop in and get their man. Manjezi admitted that the period was tough to handle because of the uncertainty of where he would end up but he was happy with the eventual outcome.

"I’m just happy everything panned out the way I wanted it to," he said.

"There was obviously a lot of uncertainty for a few weeks but I’m glad that everything’s been sorted and cleared.

"I did give the Cheetahs a chance and I gave it some thought whether I could stay. The coaching staff, after they found me at Griquas, backed me and I was happy with my role here.

"But when the Bulls came, I looked at that as a new challenge that I could put myself through. That was part of the reason why I left.

"Honestly, at certain parts it was a bit tough. You don't want to go through days and weeks not knowing where you're going to be or what you’re going to do because of everything that’s been said in the media and stuff like that.

"I have to thank my agent, Dane Galley. He really calmed me down and settled my nerves and told me not to worry about it too much, everything is going to be handled. I'm grateful he was able to sort everything out and we are both able to move forward from this."

Manjezi hopes the new chapter presents bigger and better opportunities, such as a dream call-up to the Springboks, where competition is tougher than it’s ever been in previous years.

"I hope I can knock down the Springbok door," said Manjezi.

"All professional rugby players want to play at the highest level, not just to be involved in the game and I'm one of them. But I have a lot of work to do.

"I need to get to the Bulls, work hard and adapt to whatever Jake brings forward. That's my first step right now, if I want to achieve my goal of making it to the Springboks later on."