Newly appointed Vodacom Bulls director of rugby Jake White says these extraordinary times could present an opportunity for overseas-based players to return to South Africa permanently.
White has recently stepped into the role at the helm of the Pretoria-based franchise, and has already begun planning the way forward for the former three-time Vodacom Super Rugby champions.
It has been reported that White is already looking to lure several overseas-based players to the Bulls in his recruitment drive. Locks Gerbrant Grobler (Gloucester, England), Jacques du Plessis (Montpellier, France) and Jason Jenkins (Verblitz, Japan) are some of the names that have been mentioned.
Talking with Jacaranda FM‘s Elma Smit, White explained that he felt overseas players at present may well be seeing the value of being based in South Africa, particularly with the added lure of the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour.
‘It’s a great opportunity for players who want to return to South Africa. With this coronavirus pandemic, players may be feeling the loneliness from being far away from families, and they may be reconsidering being on the other side of the world. It could be an opportunity to renegotiate with those players before they re-sign with overseas teams, so I am hard at work looking at if there are some who want to come back.
‘There is also the carrot to dangle with the British & Irish Lions series next year, and I’m sure there are plenty who would want to be involved in that series, whether that be playing for their franchises against the Lions or for the Springboks.’
As it is, in the English Premiership there have been 25% cuts imposed across the league due to the financial impact of the coronavirus.
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