Nafi Tuitavake is among the exciting new signings in the Vodacom Bulls’ official 40-man squad for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season.
The Tongan centre was officially named in the Bulls squad for the upcoming season, joining other experienced signings such as No 8 Josh Strauss and returning veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn.
Tuitavake arrived in Pretoria over the weekend, after delays in his visa meant that he could not play a part in any of the Bulls’ warm-up matches.
The 30-year-old boosts the Bulls midfield, which has suffered from the departure of Springbok centre Jesse Kriel.
Burger Odendaal will captain the team while marshalling the inside channel and have international experience to call on from Loftus favourite Steyn returning to Pretoria after several seasons in France.
The squad are a blend of experience and youth with coach Pote Human opting for 22 forwards and 18 backs, with less than two weeks to go until their opening clash with the Sharks in Durban.
The backs have several new youthful players such as fullback Richard Kriel and flyhalf Chris Smith, who will be hoping for opportunities at some stage in the season.
New faces among the forwards include former Bull and Springbok lock Juandre Kruger, Scotland-capped Strauss and Namibian hooker Louis van der Westhuizen, who all bolster a forward pack brimming with players who want to leave their mark on the tournament – including Muller Uys, Jeandre Rudolph and Abongile Nonkontwana.
Bulls 2020 squad
Forwards: Simphiwe Matanzima, Gerhard Steenekamp, Lizo Gqoboka, Corniel Els, Jaco Visagie, Muller Uys, Johan Grobbelaar, Louis van der Westhuizen, Trevor Nyakane, Wiehahn Herbst, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Andries Ferreira, Ryno Pieterse, Ian Groenewald, Juandre Kruger, Ruan Nortje, Tim Agaba, Marco van Staden, Jeandre Rudolph, Ruan Steenkamp, Abongile Nonkontwana, Wian Vosloo, Josh Strauss.
Backs: Ivan van Zyl, Embrose Papier, Marco Jansen van Vuren, Morne Steyn, Chris Smith, Manie Libbok, Rosko Specman, Divan Rossouw, Burger Odendaal, Dylan Sage, Franco Naude, Cornal Hendricks, Nafi Tuitavake, Marnus Potgieter, Johnny Kotze, Jade Stighling, Warrick Gelant, Richard Kriel.
Photo: Getty Images