Vodacom Bulls coach Pote Human says he expects to struggle next season as his side is set to suffer from another player exodus.
In his first year as Bulls head coach, Human guided the Bulls to the Vodacom Super Rugby playoffs for the first time since 2013. Their run was cut short in the quarter-finals as the Hurricanes held on to win 35-28 in Wellington on Saturday.
While Human was proud of his squad’s efforts, his happiness was undercut by the fact that the union will suffer yet another exodus of senior players.
No 8 and vice-captain Duane Vermeulen, locks RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins, as well as centre Jesse Kriel, have signed contracts with Japanse Top 14 teams.
Meanwhile, 2019 captain Lood de Jager, whose Super Rugby season was ended prematurely by injury, and his stand-in skipper Handre Pollard have joined youngsters Eli Snyman, Hanro Liebenberg and Hendre Stassen in signing long-term contracts with European sides.
Hooker Schalk Brits is expected retire at the end of the year.
‘I still believe this is a great team I had,’ Human was quoted by Stuff.co.nz as saying. ‘Ten of the guys are leaving us after tonight, so we’re going to struggle next year I think.
‘We’ll work hard, but I really believed in this team and I thought maybe next week we would be in Christchurch, but now we have to go back to South Africa again.
‘For me personally, it’s very disappointing because it’s my first year as head coach of the Bulls and I really thought if we could keep this team for another two years it would be great, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
‘We will have to look at it. It’s really difficult. They stopped the Bok contracts, so it’s all through the franchises now to try keep the guys, but the money is just too big in Japan and Europe.’
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