Kotze signs for Ospreys, Speckman for Bulls
Brenden Nel
supersport.com
October 10, 2018

In a surprising move, the Vodacom Blue Bulls have allowed midfielder Johnny Kotze to sign with the Welsh side, the Ospreys on a three month contract to play in the Guinness Pro14 competition.

Kotze, who has been one of the most important parts of the Bulls side this season, will link up with the Ospreys after the Currie Cup and be back in time for the start of Super Rugby.

While the sanity of allowing players to play in the off-season overseas is still debatable, especially with the spate of injuries picked up by players who ply their trade in Japan, Kotze is the first known player to do the same with a Pro14 side.

Kotze is looking forward to the challenge.

"I am super psyched to join the Ospreys after the 2018 Currie Cup season. The Ospreys have had a great PRO 14 season thus far and I am looking forward to contributing to the club’s success in any way I can."

Dan Griffiths, Rugby General Manager, welcomed Kotze, saying he will have an important role to play over the next three months.

"We are going in to an important period in terms of our aspirations for the season, with international call-ups and injuries impacting, so to have the ability to bring in a player of Johnny’s quality will give everyone a real boost.

"He is someone who will bring physicality and go forward to the backline, covering multiple positions, and will, I’m sure, prove to be a great asset over a three month period.

"Developing home grown talent remains a priority for us, as it should be, and we are proud to have an average of 21 Welsh qualified players in our matchday squad this season, but we recognise that adding in the right non Welsh qualified talent can help us achieve our performance targets."

* Meanwhile the Bulls also confirmed the signing of Springbok Sevens player and World Rugby Sevens Player of the year nominee Rosco Speckman for the upcoming Super Rugby season.

The side also confirmed that Edgar Marutlulle, Johan Grobbelaar, Divan Rossouw and Franco Naude have recommitted themselves to the Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls for a further two seasons.

The 29-year-old BlitzBok is a welcome addition to the squad as the wing boasts several seasons as a standout member of the BlitzBoks where he racked up 138 matches and scored 63 tries for the national sevens team.

Xander Janse van Rensburg, BBCo High Performance Manager, believes that the latest signings bode well for the franchise as they look to prepare for a season where they want to be serious contenders.

"Specman is definitely a quality signing for us and we look forward to his contributions at Loftus Versfeld as we start our preparations for next season. His experience and x factor will be invaluable and we are excited to see him making his mark in blue. He however now has a vital role to still play for the BlitzBoks and we wish him well there and look forward to welcoming him in January 2019," said Janse van Rensburg.

"We are also pleased that the players already in our system are opting to recommit. Their contributions are pivotal in building a strong squad as we have to find the balance between experience and tomorrow’s stars. With our depth, experience and quality I do believe we have what it takes to be title contenders," he explained.

Janse van Rensburg added that the BBCo are in advanced stages of negotiations with several high-profile players that will add calibre to the Vodacom Bulls and Blue Bulls, with the announcement of further signings to be made in due course.

The Blue Bulls Company also confirmed that they have granted Tinus de Beer an early release from his contract and thank him for his dedicated service while wishing him well at the Tafel Lager Griquas.