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Zebre sign Kriel from the Bulls

By Ian Cameron
Zebre Parma have claimed their first win in 14 months (Photo by Massimiliano Carnabuci/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Zebre Parma have signed Richard Kriel from the Bulls, the Italian club have confirmed. The fullback has signed a one year contract with the option of a second.

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The club see him as a potential replacement for Samoan fullback Junior Laloifi, who just departed the Italian side.

Kriel, who just turned 22, is fresh from the playoffs of the Currie Cup with the Blue Bulls and is set to join up with his new teammates in Parma for pre-season. He is the brother of Bulls utility back David Kriel, who he leaves behind in Pretoria.

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“It is an honor to join the Zebre, I can’t wait to reach Parma and start this new experience! It is a great growth opportunity that I want to take full advantage of: I will give my best for the club “.

Born in Potchefstroom on July 7, 2000, Kriel discovered rugby at the age of six at school and before becoming a standout player on the South African schoolboy rugby circuit.

He attended Gray College in Bloemfontein where he played alongside new Zebre teammate Franco Smith Jr.

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After a brief stint at the Free State Cheetahs, Kriel moved to Pretoria and signed with the Bulls, debuting in the first team in 2021 and taking the field in both the Currie Cup and the United Rugby Championship, making his official URC debut on December 3, 2021 in Durban against the Sharks.

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The 6’3, 90kg fullback represented the Tuks of the University of Pretoria, starring in the Varsity Cup for the side.

For their part, Jake White’s Bulls have just signed utility back Wandisile Simelane from the Lions, who principally plays as a centre.

Simelane’s signing comes after the confirmation of the arrival of back rows Mihlali Mosi and Phumzile Maqondwana, as well as the earlier recruitment of Sbu Nkosi, Ruan Vermaak and Dylan Smith.

 

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