The Bulls are a South African Rugby Union team competing in the Super Rugby competition. They are based in Pretoria and play their home matches at Loftus Versfeld.
The team is centred around the Blue Bulls union (Pretoria plus Limpopo Province), but also draws players from the Falcons (representing the East Rand).
Through 2005, the Bulls also drew players from the Pumas (Mpumalanga Province) and Leopards (North West Province), but in the realignment of franchise areas that came from the expansion of Super 12 to Super 14, these unions were moved into the franchise area af the Cats.
Prior to 1998, the Bulls competed in the then-Super 12 as the Blue Bulls. Especially outside of South Africa, it is easy to confuse the Bulls with the "Blue Bulls", also known by their sponsorship name of "Vodacom Blue Bulls".
The Blue Bulls are the representative team of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, and compete in South Africa's domestic competition, the Currie Cup. As noted above, the Bulls draw most of their players from the Blue Bulls, but can also draw from the Falcons.
Their best Super 12 performance was in the inaugural year of the competition, 1996, when (as the Blue Bulls) they finished third on the table and reached the semi-finals, only to be defeated by the eventual cup winners, the Auckland Blues.
They equalled this performance in 2005 when a very poor start to the season was followed by six straight wins to earn them a semi-final berth, where they were defeated by the New South Wales Waratahs.
In 2006 it looked like the Bulls would not be able to match their 2005 performance but in the final week of scheduled matches the Bulls finished fourth on the table after hammering the Stormers in Cape Town.
The Bulls went on to win the 2007 Super14 tournament but slumped to 10th place in 2008. In 2009 however they bounced back and won the tournament again.
Super 15 positions
2012 .. 5th
2011 .. 7th
Super 14 positions
Super 12 positions
(as Blue Bulls)
2005 .. 3rd .. (lost semi-final to New South Wales Waratahs)
2004 .. 6th
2003 .. 6th
2002 .. 12th
2001 .. 12th
2000 .. 11th
1999 .. 12th
1998 .. 11th
1997 .. 8th (as The Bulls)
1996 .. 4th .. (lost semi-final to Auckland Blues)