The Vodacom Bulls have explained why new signings Gio Aplon and Arno Botha were selected as leadership deputies to newly-appointed captain Duane Vermeulen.
On Tuesday, the Bulls confirmed that Vermeulen will succeed Burger Odendaal as captain of their new-look squad under the direction of head coach Jake White.
‘With his experience of both southern and northern hemisphere rugby, on top of his never-back-down attitude and dedication to perfecting his craft, and it becomes easy to understand his [Vermeulen’s] appointment,’ a statement read.
The Bulls statement further explained why Aplon and Botha were appointed to the leadership team.
‘Botha and utility back Aplon’s appointments as Vermeulen’s deputies were based on similar calculations with the 28-year-old Botha having always been earmarked to have a hand in the Bulls’ leadership since his junior days at Loftus Versfeld, where he led the Blue Bulls at various levels including in the Currie Cup.
‘Aplon – the 37-year-old mercurial and hot-stepping utility back – brings a wealth of experience that includes the Stormers, Grenoble and Toyota Verblitz while boasting 17 Springbok caps. It is this experience that has created a level-headed, tactical type of player which will serve the younger backs greatly in the coming seasons.’
Other leaders in the Bulls’ ranks include the likes of Trevor Nyakane – who served as vice-captain earlier this year – Morne Steyn, Nizaam Carr and Ivan van Zyl, who are all highly capable leaders, both on and off the field.
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