Bulls add ex-Springbok and Stormers lock to their coaching staff

Bulls add ex-Springbok and Stormers lock to their coaching staff

The Bulls have announced the addition of former Springboks and Stormers lock Andries Bekker to their coaching staff ahead of the 2023/24 season.

Bekker joins the Pretoria-based side from Japanese club Kobe Steelers, where he was the forwards coach.

The towering ex-Springbok forward has signed on with the Bulls as an assistant coach until June 2026.

He joins the side following the confirmation that Russell Winter has left the Bulls to join Japan Rugby League One champions, the Kubota Spears.

During his playing career, Bekker played over 100 Super Rugby matches for the Stormers and represented the Springboks on 29 occasions between 2008 and 2012.

He will be entrusted with looking after the forwards and breakdown department at the Bulls.

"We are excited to have Andries join our coaching team, an experienced ex-player with some great rugby IP - especially in the lineouts - which we will look to tap into," Bulls Chief Executive Edgar Rathbone said.

"He understands South African rugby and also brings acute attention to detail from his time working in Japan under Wayne Smith.

"We are making some changes to our coaching department, looking to bring reinforcements ahead of the new season. Our desire is to continuously surround our players with top quality coaches and mentors who can challenge them to be at their best,"

"I am confident that he is going to find our environment a great fit for him, and equally, our players will enjoy being under his guidance at the front."

"We look forward to welcoming him and his family to Loftus, and I am sure he will enjoy his time with our Vodacom Bulls family."

Bekker started his coaching career in 2018 after announcing his retirement.

The 39-year-old holds the record for the tallest Springbok in history standing 2.08 metres (6 ft 10 in).

He is the son of former Springbok Hennie Bekker, who played over 108 games for Western Province and twice at lock for South Africa.

Meanwhile, the Bulls have also confirmed that Springbok prop Lizo Gqoboka has left the side.

Gqoboka joined the Bulls in 2016 and amassed 108 caps across all competitions.

He won the Currie Cup twice with the Bulls and a Super Rugby Unlocked title.

"Loftus will always be a special place for my entire family, and I look forward to visiting again in the near future. I wish everyone all of the very best for the future," Gqoboka said.