Bok scrumhalf bids Bulls farewell, Lions secure three key men

Bulls scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl is taking up an offer with Saracens in London. Picture: Getty Images

While one Bulls man has thanked the union for allowing him to realise his dream, three Lions players are still chasing theirs with the Joburg team.

Springbok scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl confirmed on Tuesday he will leave the Bulls at the end of June.

The 25-year-old, who joined the Bulls straight out of high school (Affies) in 2014, has decided to further his career with Saracens in London.

Van Zyl made his Bok debut against Wales in 2018 and has played for the national team on six occasions.

“Ivan has led the backline extremely well alongside veteran Morne Steyn,” said Bulls director of rugby, Jake White.

“I know Ivan will be an asset for Saracens and I wish him well.”

Van Zyl said he had always wanted to turn out for the Bulls. “Having grown up in Pretoria and watched the likes of Fourie du Preez in action… I always wanted to play for this team,” he said.

“I want to thank all involved at Loftus Versfeld for backing me and allowing me to chase my dreams.”

Meanwhile, the Lions announced on Tuesday that three of their players, namely Tiaan Swanepoel, Reinhard Nothnagel and Sti Sithole had extended their contracts with the union.

Fullback Swanepoel and lock Nothnagel have signed on to play for the Joburg team for another three years, while prop Sithole has signed on for a further two seasons.

Both the Bulls and Lions will be in action this weekend when the Preparation Series kicks off. On Friday at Ellis Park, the Lions will host the Pumas (7pm), while on Sunday the Bulls will entertain Eastern Province (3pm).

ALSO READ: Pumas coach Stonehouse tells ‘big four’ to field their best teams

In the two other matches this weekend, the Stormers host the Cheetahs (5.15pm) on Saturday while on Sunday in Durban, the Sharks welcome Griquas 5.15pm).

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