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Two Bulls locks heading to the door in Pretoria

By Kim Ekin
Walt Steenkamp #4 of Vodacom Bulls during the Connacht V Vodacom Bulls, United Rugby Championship match at The Sportsground on October 1st, 2021 in Galway, Ireland. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

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Jake White’s Bulls are set to suffer a double whammy of losses at the franchise with reports in South Africa indicating a mini exodus of forward grunt from Pretoria.


According to Rapport, Walt Steenkamp and Sintu Manjezi are all set to leave the franchise, who currently sit sixth on the United Rugby Championship (URC) log.

Added to this, veteran back row Arno Botha is also set to depart for Lyon, a move first flagged back in January.

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Steenkamp, a former Cheetah, is headed to Japan. The towering 26-year-old is contracted through to October with the Bulls but looks set to make a lucrative switch to Japanese rugby.

The 6’8, 122kg lock had been linked with Gallagher Premiership side Bath, but now the smart money is on a move to Japan Rugby League One side.

Fellow second-row Manjezi is said to be destined for the Premiership. Another former Cheetah, the 6’5, 114kg Manjezi, a former pupil at St. Andrews Grahamstown, started his career in the colours of the Eastern Province Kings and before making his Super Rugby debut for the Southern Kings in 2015.

It’s a blow for White, who has prided himself on his canny recruitment since taking over the franchise in 2020.


On the other side of the ledger, the Pretorians will welcome former Baby Bok Ruan Vermaak to the fold in July.

It was an otherwise good weekend for the Bulls, who scored four tries in a convincing performance against the Glasgow Warriors at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday evening in their final home game in the league phase of the URC for a rewarding 29-17 bonus-point victory.

The top six on the log is dominated by teams from Ireland and South Africa. Leinster, on 62 points, will finish top of the pile in three weeks’ time, but the hosting rights in the other three quarter-finals can still go to any of the teams currently in positions two to six on the log.


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