The Bulls have announced a new coaching structure for the 2013 Super Rugby season in which former captain Victor Matfield is the Forwards and Attack Coach.
In addition to Matfield another former player in Derick Hougaard will be skills and kicking coach.
Former Bulls captain Matfield was promoted from a consulting role into a permanent position, former Springbok pivot Hougaard comes into the Blue Bulls coaching structures for the first time.
The Bulls have also named a 53 strong extended playing squad which includes school boy star Handre Pollard and the return of Japan-based Wynand Olivier as well as the inclusion of two loan players.
The Bulls also announced numerous promotions amongst their coaching squad, confirming
The squad will include:
-Two Lions players, Lionel Mapoe and Callie Visagie, on loan
-New signings Grant Hattingh and Paul Willemse, who played Super Rugby for the Lions in 2012 and Marcel van der Merwe (Cheetahs)
-19 Springboks on the roster, including Wynand Olivier, who will return from Japan
-IRB JWC-winning Junior Springboks Wiaan Liebenberg, Shaun Adendorff, Marvin Orie, William Small-Smith and Jan Serfontein, alongside Pollard and four other schoolboy stars.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke also confirmed his new coaching assistants, which saw the promotion of various coaches from within the Bulls structures.
Blue Bulls Currie Cup head coach, Pine Pienaar, will be the new defense coach, while Andre Volsteedt has been promoted as Head of Strength and Conditioning.
Nollis Marais, who coached the Blue Bulls Under-21's to a second consecutive Provincial Championship title in 2012 and won the Varsity Cup with Tukkies earlier this year, has been promoted to Vodacom Cup Head Coach and will continue with the Under-21's and Tuks in 2013.
Xander Janse van Rensburg will be the new High Performance Manager, with numerous other appointments in the junior structures confirmed, amongst them Hougaard as junior kicking and skills consultant.
Ludeke expressed his excitement ahead of the new season.
“Experience has taught us that the hard work in pre-season is vital for a successful campaign. We could only measure the effects on the prolonged 2012 Super Rugby season now and will adjust our planning and training schedules accordingly. I am excited to work with the coaches in their new roles and believe we have the right mix of personalities, skills and expertise to make 2013 a success,” Ludeke said.
“Someone like Victor has so much experience to give back to our players and I am very excited to work with one of the sharpest rugby minds in the business.”
Ludeke confirmed the return of Wynand Olivier, one of only two centurions in the squad (Morne Steyn the other).
“He will join us as soon as his club commitments end in Japan. His record at the Bulls speaks volumes and Wynand will be an important player for us next year.”
The Bulls wider training group roster for 2013 is:
Akona Ndungane*, Arno Botha*, Basil Short, Bjorn Basson*, Bongi Mbonambi, Callie Visagie, Chiliboy Ralepelle*, Clayton Blommetjies, Corne Cooper (schoolboy), Cornell Hess, Dawie Steyn, Daniel Kriel (schoolboy), Dean Greyling*, Deon Stegmann*, Dewald Potgieter*, Flip van der Merwe*, Francois Hougaard*, Francois Venter, Frik Kirsten, Grant Hattingh, Handre Pollard (schoolboy), Hencus van Wyk, Jan Serfontein, Jano Vermaak*, Jacques Potgieter*, Jacques du Plessis, Jean Cook, Jesse Kriel (schoolboy), JJ Engelbrecht*, Juandre Kruger*, Jürgen Visser, Juan Schoeman, Lionel Mapoe*, Lohan Jacobs, Louis Fouche, Marcel van der Merwe, Marvin Orie, Mike Williams, Morne Mellett, Morne Steyn*, Paul Willemse, Pierre Spies*, Rohan Janse van Rensburg (schoolboy), Ruan Snyman, Rudy Paige, Sampie Mastriet, Schalk van Heerden, Shaun Adendorff, Tiaan Schoeman, Tony Jantjies, Travis Ismaiel, Ulrich Beyers, Werner Kruger*, Wiaan Liebenberg, Wilhelm Steenkamp, Willie Wepener, William Small-Smith, Wynand Olivier*, Zane Kirchner*
The promotions will see the following coaches in new roles:
Victor Matfield - Super Rugby and Currie Cup Forward and Attack Coach
Pine Pienaar - Super Rugby Defence Coach
Wessel Roux - Scrum coach (All), Forwards coach Under-19
Andre Volsteedt - Head Coach: Strength and Conditioning
John-William Meyer - Super Rugby and Currie Cup Technical Advisor
Xander Janse van Rensburg - High Performance Manager
Nollis Marais - Vodacom Cup Head Coach, Under-21; Tuks Varsity Cup Head Coach
Denzil Frans - Vodacom Cup and Under-21 Forward Coach
David Manuel - Under-21 and Vodacom Cup Backline Coach
Shaun du Toit - Under-21 and Vodacom Cup Strength and Conditioning Coach
Divan Strydom - Under-21 and VodacomCup Technical Advisor
Hendre Marnitz - Under 19 Backline Coach and Junior Defence Coach
Hayden Groepes - Under-19 Technical Advisor
Derick Hougaard - Junior Kicking and Skills Consultant
Nicki de Villiers - Nutritionist Consultant
Werner de Beer - Coordinator: Schools, Amateur Rugby and High Performance Activities
Henri-Charl Terblanche - Strength and Conditioning Coach: Under-19's, High Performance and Schools
Dr Jannie Botha – Life Skills, Mental Coach and Counsellor