The Vodacom Bulls have boosted their front-row stocks with the signing of experienced prop Jacques van Rooyen, who will arrive at the team with immediate effect.
The 33-year-old loosehead prop best epitomises the term ‘late bloomer’ as he only signed his first professional contract with the Lions back in 2013 and blossomed into a mainstay among their front rowers, featuring in all three Vodacom Super Rugby finals played by the Lions between 2016 and 2018.
Van Rooyen, affectionately known as the ‘Policeman’ due to his association with Pretoria Police rugby club, explored his options overseas and turned out for Bath and the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes before returning to South Africa.
The signing shortly follows the departure of Wiehahn Herbst, who left the Bulls to join the Lions. Along with Van Rooyen, the Pretoria team can count Springboks Lizo Gqoboka, Trevor Nyakane and Marcel van der Merwe as their senior props while there are two promising youngsters in Simpiwe Matanzima and Gerhard Steenekamp.
His experience will also add immensely in mentoring the younger loosehead props while his effective scrummaging technique and incredible mobility will bolster the Bulls as director of rugby Jake White continues to add firepower to his squad.