Vodacom Bulls coach Jake White says he wants lock Jason Jenkins to join on a long-term deal when he finishes his Japan commitments next year.
Jenkins is set to return to Japanese club Toyota Verblitz ahead the club’s pre-season for the 2021 Top League season, which starts in January.
The 24-year-old had joined the Bulls on a short-term loan deal and has been in excellent form, helping them to win four of their five Super Rugby Unlocked matches.
Speaking after the Bulls’ win over the Lions, White confirmed that Jenkins will now be heading back to Japan, but added that he was hopeful of negotiating a more permanent contract for him next year.
‘He has just kept growing and growing,’ White said. ‘He just said now in the changeroom that he has been at the Bulls for about six years and this is a special group of players. He is enjoying his rugby.
‘Hopefully, we can lure him into recommitting after his contract [in Japan] to coming back to the Bulls. He is obviously a very important player to us. He has got better and better the more he has played.
‘We will see. Obviously, he is going to head off to Japan. I have to say, Toyota Verblitz – the club I coached – were kind enough to release him as a loan player to us. I am very thankful of that. He has to head back now. They start their pre-season and he can slot in and hopefully start playing in January for Toyota.’
White added that given that the Top League season runs through until May, it is very unlikely that Jenkins will be able to return before the end of the Currie Cup.
‘When their season starts, they start in January and they play through until about May. The chances are that they won’t release him until the end of the competition. The ideal for me would be post his commitment in Japan, when he is up for renewal on his contract, that he decides to come back and play for the Bulls.’
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