The Bulls have confirmed that Springbok lock Juandrè Kruger will be joining Racing Metro next year.
According to the Pretoria franchise, Kruger has not extended his contract and will leave the Bulls once it expires in June 2013. Kruger is set to take up a lucrative contract with French club Racing.
The news comes as a blow to the Bulls, who are already short on quality locks following the retirement of Bok legend Victor Matfield as well as the departure of two more Test stars in Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw in 2011. While they will still enjoy Kruger’s services for the initial part of the Super Rugby competition, it seems as if he won’t be available for the latter stages where experience is so important.
Coach Frans Ludeke admitted that the Bulls would have liked to have retained Kruger, but in the end the Pretoria franchise couldn’t match Racing’s offer.
‘It is always good to know and to hear that your players are wanted all over the world, but unfortunately it is not always possible to hold on to them once those offers start coming in,’ Ludeke said.
‘With the exchange rate as it is at the moment, it is very difficult to remain on level terms with those clubs when it comes to contract talks. We were very keen to extend his contract, but financially it was just not possible. We are very happy for Juandrè, as it is a great offer he received, but that left us in an unfortunate position that we could not match it.’