Super Rugby

Why ex-Springbok said NO to Jake White and the Bulls

Ashley Johnson (Getty Images)
Ashley Johnson (Getty Images)
  • Former Springbok loose forward Ashley Johnson says family reasons played a role in his decision to turn down and offer from Jake White and the Bulls.
  • The 34-year-old played three Tests for the Springboks in 2011 and played for English club Wasps since 2012.
  • He is set to go into coaching.


Former Springbok loose forward Ashley Johnson has explained why he said no to an offer from Jake White to join the Bulls.

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The 34-year-old, who played three Tests for the Springboks in 2011, left English club Wasps last week after eight years.

In a candid interview with Rapport newspaper on Sunday, Johnson said he seriously considered White's offer to join the Bulls, but decided it wasn't the right time for his family to leave England.

Johnson, who had successfully converted into a hooker in recent years, played 198 matches for Wasps, scoring 42 tries, before the 2019-20 season was suspended due to Covid-19.

READ | Wasps coach salutes Ashley Johnson: He's one of our best signings in our history

"A couple of weeks ago, Jake contacted me - I know him from my school years, of course - and he has great plans for the Bulls," said Johnson.

"I really wanted to [accept the offer]. I even had the motivation to test myself again in Super Rugby. I really thought I could come and contribute, especially to teach the younger guys something.

"But unfortunately, where I was in my career at the time, I was not ready. And more importantly, my family was not. It was a family decision."

Johnson is now likely to go into coaching and although his future destination is yet to be determined, he has been linked to a role with the England RFU.

Before he joined Wasps in 2012, Johnson played for the Cheetahs between 2007 and 2012.

MUST READ | Bulls target Ashley Johnson earmarked for RFU coaching job

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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