The Vodacom Bulls bid farewell to the DHL Stormers-linked Lizo Gqoboka, with the Pretoria outfit having confirmed that the Springbok loosehead is joining another team.
The seasoned Gqoboka parts ways with The Herd after seven years at Loftus Verfseld, and will reportedly make his way down to the Western Cape in a massive boost to the Stormers’ front-row stocks.
Gqoboka joined and made his debut for the Bulls in 2016, going on to amass 108 caps across all competitions. GQ, as he is affectionately known at Loftus, is a two-time Currie Cup winner and Super Rugby Unlocked winner.
He is a Super Rugby quarter-finalist and Rainbow Cup finalist with appearances in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship and Champions Cup, and also captained the Bulls on a number of occasions.
The 33-year-old has two Test caps with three appearances for South Africa ‘A’ and a Springbok XV, all between 2016 and 2019. He made his Bok debut against Australia in Johannesburg and his last Test was against Argentina, at Loftus.
Gqoboka was an instrumental figure in the Bulls 2023 Currie Cup campaign, in which he was also voted Player of the Year for his efforts during that campaign.
“It was an honour to represent such a great club, I am thankful for all the memories and lessons. I would like to also thank the proud and passionate Vodacom Bulls supporters for welcoming my family into their home,” he said.
“I moved here eight years ago, as a young family man and as a player with so much to learn as much as I had plenty to offer, and I now walk away reflecting on a time that has been nothing short of memorable.
“I am grateful for the coaches I have worked with and all the hidden heroes who have worked tirelessly in the background to get me back up whenever I was injured or helped condition me to be at the best of my game at the beginning of each season. I also consider myself truly lucky to have worked alongside the talented players who have been my teammates over the years,”
“Loftus will always be a special place for my entire family and I look forward to visiting again in the near future. I wish everyone all of the very best for the future.”
Director of rugby Jake White said: “We are saying goodbye to a player who truly showed what is possible when you work hard and believe that you can achieve something that is beyond the limits of your background. He has been a player that has been appreciated and loved by not only our fans, but those he shared a changeroom with.
“He was an influential figure amongst our entire squad for a reason and as he moves on, we want to wish him all of the very best.”
CEO Edgar Rathbone added: “Lizo has been a wonderful ambassador of the game and our club during his eight years spent with us. He showed us great commitment and offered us more than just the rugby on the field, inspiring both young and old, playing such a pivotal role as a family man and motivator to all those who called Loftus home.
“On behalf of everyone at the Vodacom Bulls, I wish to thank him for his service and wish him all of the very best for his future as he moves on.”
Photo: © Vodacom Bulls