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Several top players are showing their confidence in Jake White’s long-term plans

The Bulls’ director of rugby, Jake White, is sometimes mocked by trolls on social media as if he talks too much and doesn’t do enough in practice to back up these arguments.

Yet White appears to be slowly but surely positioning the Bulls to be quite competitive in all three competitions the franchise participates in, two of which are European, while the Currie Cup remains the tournament where local young talent should be exposed. top rugby.

Despite criticism from quasi-rugby pundits, the Bulls are still well positioned to reach at least the final of the URC tournament later this season, while they were South Africa’s best team in the European Rugby Champions Cup. So White is doing something right after all.

Ruan Vermaak – signed until 2027
Photo: Bulls

In the past week the Bulls have announced a number of names who have extended their contracts to play a few more seasons of rugby in Pretoria. As other stars have done in recent times, most of these players have committed to the Bulls until 2027, the next World Cup year, while others have signed until 2026 but are also likely to extend their contracts for another year until 2027 , especially if they may be considered for Springbok selection.

The underrated lock, Ruan Vermaak, is the latest name to be added to the large group of stars and rising stars available to White and his management over the next two to three seasons. He signed until June 2027.

Along with Vermaak, it was also announced that former Junior Springbok and likely future Springbok hooker, Johan Grobbelaar, also signed to stay in the Bulls corral until 2027.

Dawid Kriel – signed until 2027
Photo: Bulls

Another Junior Springbok, who now also plies his rugby trade as a hacker, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, has confirmed that he will remain part of the Bulls package until June 2026.

The fourth name that has already emerged this week as one of the men preparing for a long-term connection with the Bulls is the versatile Dawid Kriel. He signed a new contract until June 2027.

Stars such as Gerhard Steenekamp (2028), Canan Moodie (2027), Cameron Hanekom (2027), Elrich Louw (2027), Marcel Coetzee (2027), Kurt-Lee Arendse (2026), Johan Goosen (2026), Wilco Louw (2026) ) ) ), Willie le Roux (2026), Mornay Smith (2026) and Akker van der Merwe (2026) all identified with White’s plans by signing long-term contracts with the Bulls.

Jan-Hendrik Wessels – signed until 2026
Photo: Bulls

Then there are guys like Ruan Nortjé (2025), Marco van Staden (2024) and Embse Papier (2024) who are all likely high on the Bulls’ priority list to also extend their contracts until at least 2027.

In addition, there is a good chance that emerging young stars such as Stedman Gans, Janko Swanepoel, Reinhardt Ludwig and Simphiwe Matanzima will all remain part of Jake White’s plans until at least 2027.

If all these stars stay at Loftus and join White’s medium to long-term plans, the shrewd rugby director may well be the one to have the last laugh and soon be able to stick his tongue out at his critics.

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