By Stefan Kirsten
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 7 of VARSITY News.
Since acquiring a majority stake in the Blue Bulls rugby franchise, Patrice Motsepe has expressed his excitement over his involvement. Motsepe, a billionaire South African mine magnate and businessman, acquired a 37% stake in the Blue Bulls company in November of 2019 for an undisclosed amount.
Motsepe, also the owner of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club, said in an interview that he had been looking to partner with the Blue Bulls for a long time because of his passion for rugby and his support of club. He recalls that his love of rugby started while attending boarding school in the Eastern Cape where he developed a love for both football and rugby. In addition, Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. also shares a home ground with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld Stadium and Motsepe sees it as an excellent opportunity to “unite people from different backgrounds‚ languages and cultures.”
Motsepe also stated that he was satisfied with the staff representing him at the Bulls and particularly World Cup winning coach, Jake White. White joined the Bulls as Director of Rugby at the start of 2020 and is contracted to stay with the Bulls until after the 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC). He is also set to take over as coach in the 2021 season, replacing current coach Pote Human. Some of White’s coaching accolades includes involvement in teams such as the Junior Springboks, The Brumbies, The Sharks, Montpellier, Toyota Verblitz, the Tongan national team, and of course coaching the 2007 Rugby World Cup winning Springboks.
When asked why he [White] joined the Bulls, he replied that it was an “easy decision” because the Bulls are a successful club on a Junior and Senior level due to a hardworking culture that attracts new players. White has not let any grass grow underneath his feet since his appointment and he has already managed to secure several players for the Bulls, with the likes of Gio Aplon and Marcel van der Merwe to name a few.
From the serious initiative that Motsepe and White are showing this early on, one can only imagine that the Bulls are back on track once again to become the dominant force in southern hemisphere rugby.