The Vodacom Bulls followed up their signing spree with the coup that Springbok fullback WillieRoux will be at Loftus Versfeld from next season.
The World Cup winner will join the Bulls and be with them until June 2026 and while his contract begins on 1 July he will only join the Bulls after the Rugby World Cup.
This comes after the team confirmed they had signed Akker van der Merwe, as reported last week by supersport.com.
Le Roux’s arrival could see the Bulls fielding an all-Springbok back three of Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie and the Bok fullback in what is an exciting prospect for the union.
Edgar Rathbone, BBCo. Chief Executive Officer said: “Willie is a world-class player with so much experience behind him. Our stable is sure to benefit from having a player with more than 83 caps for his national side. Moreover, we believe that his wealth of experience will really add more stability to our backline,”
“We are continuing with our ambitions of putting together a squad that can help us not only challenge but go for the crowns while playing some entertaining rugby and he is a player that falls into classification. We are all confident that his versatility will be appreciated by both the young and the wise,”
“We of course wish him and the Springboks well for the upcoming Rugby Championship and cannot wait to have him join us later in the year.”
The versatile Le Roux has played for a number of sides, including Boland, Toyota Cheetahs, Griquas, the Cell C Sharks, Wasps, Canon Eagles and in recent times, Toyota Verblitz in Japan. He has played 83 tests for the Springboks and will now be within reach of his 100 test milestone while at the Bulls.
Van der Merwe, meanwhile, has signed a three-year contract as well that will see him at the Bulls until 2026.
The brother of British and Irish Lion Duhan, he played for Sale Sharks 70 times since joining them four years ago.
?? NEW SIGNING ALERT ??
There’s an Angry Warthog heading to Loftus ?? Welcome to the Vodacom Bulls Akker van der Merwe ?? pic.twitter.com/6bFtICUkVo— Official Blue Bulls (@BlueBullsRugby) July 4, 2023
Rathbone welcomed Van der Merwe to the capital, earmarking his experience as a great addition to the roster.
“We are thrilled to have Akker join us and a player of his skill and calibre will be a wonderful addition for our franchise as we continue evolving and set our eyes on success across the various competitions,”
“He is also a well-travelled player that has continuously done well wherever he has played and that speaks of a resilient character that will be of great help to our younger players too. I know he is a player who is keen to give as much as he can, and his know-how will be invaluable for us,”
“We welcome him to the capital and hope that he will have a wonderful time running out with the herd in blue.”
The Bulls have also made other signings, including Springbok Wilco Louw, Scottish international flyhalf Jaco van der Walt, and several other former South African players plying their trade overseas including Jannes Kirsten, Henry Immelmann and Sergeal Petersen.
They also signed two of the Sharks forwards in Kutha Mchunu and Celimpilo Gumede.
BULLS' OFF-SEASON SIGNINGS
Wilco Louw (from Harlequins, UK)
Jannes Kirsten (from Exeter Chiefs, UK)
Henry Immelmann (from Edinburgh, Scotland)
Jaco van der Walt (from Edinburgh, Scotland)
Sergeal Petersen (from Shimizo Kotu Blue Sharks, Japan)
Sebastien de Klerk (from Pumas)
Akker van der Merwe (from Sale Sharks, England)
Celimpilo Gumede (from Sharks)
Khutha Mchunu (from Sharks)
Willie le Roux (from Toyota Verblitz)