The Blue Bulls have confirmed that they are bringing back Springbok prop, Marcel van der Merwe, after a stint with French Top 14 club Toulon. The powerful yet mobile front rower will join the Vodacom Bulls as of July 2020.
The 6’2, 128kg prop made 7 appearances for the Springboks between 2014 and 2015. Van der Merwe established himself at the Vodacom Bulls when he made the move from Bloemfontein in 2014 after making his Vodacom Super Rugby debut for the Toyota Cheetahs.
His performances in that 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby earned him a Springbok call up where he earned seven Test caps. He also represented the Junior Springboks in 2010 and earned a South A cap in 2016 against the French Barbarians.
The former Grey College scholar wore the Vodacom Bulls jersey on 45 occasions, scoring six tries while he also ran out in the colours of the Vodacom Blue Bulls.
Van der Merwe returns to South African shores after impressive performances with Toulon and his experience in France and its forward dominated approach to rugby will have only sharpened his abilities.
Van der Merwe recorded a message for the Blue Bulls fans announcing his return to Loftus Versfeld.
“I’m excited to confirm that I’ve signed with the Vodacom Bulls. Loftus and the Bulls have always had a special place in my heart and I look forward to coming back home. I’ll see you all soon.”
Earlier this week the Bulls lost the services of coach Pote Human with immediate affect. The Blue Bulls Company confirmed that Human – by mutual agreement – has terminated his contract – which was due to end in October 2020. It comes in the wake of the revelation that Jake White, the new director of rugby, would take over the on-field coaching.
The BBCo were said in a statement they were “open and transparent” in informing Human that his contract would not be extended beyond October. “Given the current situation, with no rugby expected to be played in the near future, both parties mutually agreed on exiting with immediate effect, thus also allowing Human extra time with his future planning,” read the statement.
Human made an impact from schools and Varsity Cup through to the Blue Bulls junior teams, also coaching abroad in Japan, heading up two Currie cup teams, winning a Super Rugby tournament as one of Heyneke Meyer’s assistants in 2007 and building a phenomenal team in 2019 that showed true grit to make it to the play-offs.
– Blue Bulls, additional reporting RugbyPass
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