The Vodacom Bulls have officially said their goodbyes to outgoing midfielder Johnny Kotze as he prepares for his next move to Japan.
The hard-running centre has exercised the 21-day exit clause that has been implemented to allow local players to opt out of their current contracts. He will be joining the Shimizu Blue Sharks in Japan.
Kotze, whose preferred position is at outside center and is also very comfortable on the wings, was one of the more consistent starters over the last few years. He started his career at Western Province, before moving up to Loftus in 2017, also having served a brief off-season stint with the Ospreys at the end of 2018.
Outgoing Bulls chief executive Alfons Meyer expressed his gratitude for Kotze’s loyal service.
‘Johnny is the epitome of a team-man, and was willing to do whatever was needed for the team. I’d like to sincerely thank him for being part of this Bulls family, and for committing the last few years to us.
‘We wish him all the best with his future endeavors, and have no doubt that he will make a massive impact at his new club.’
Kotze thanked the Bulls for the journey thus far.
‘You always hear people describe life as a journey. It is at a time like this that one realises just how true that statement is. I’ve truly enjoyed my time at the Bulls, and have met some amazing people here … people that I would hope to call friends for the rest of my life.
‘Thank you to everybody at the Bulls family that has contributed to my career thus far and made my stay at Loftus one that I will never forget.
‘I look forward to catching up with my Bulls mates in years to come, and reminiscing about our good old rugby days … I may even teach them how to make sushi then.’
Meanwhile, the Stormers are also set to bid farewell to forward Cobus Wiese, who has reportedly opted out of his contract in order to join the Sale Sharks.
Sport24 reported that the promising 22-year-old lock will join Dillyn Leyds and Wilco Louw in leaving the Cape franchise.
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