The Vodacom Bulls are South Africa’s most successful team in the history of Vodacom Super Rugby, and will look to bring this pedigree to their debut in the new Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
City and Country: Pretoria, South Africa.
PRO Rugby Titles: None. Best finish of second in Pro14 Rainbow Cup Final in 2021.
Quick Shoutout Facts: 3-time Vodacom Super Rugby champions and 1-time Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked champions. 25-time Carling Currie Cup winners. Only South African team in the professional era to beat the British and Irish Lions (1997).
The “They Did What?” Award: The Vodacom Bulls beat the South Africa A side (containing a number of Springboks being given a run before the 2021 British and Irish Lions series) 17-14 in the build-up to that series.
Say My Name: So so tough for one of the greatest teams in South African rugby history. So go old school and throw in names like Frik du Preez and Naas Botha. And for the coach, Brigadier Buurman van Zyl is a Loftus legend.
Coach: Jake White.
Captain: Marcell Coetzee.
Stadium: Loftus Versfeld.
The Vodacom Bulls are South Africa’s most successful team in the history of Vodacom Super Rugby, and will look to bring this pedigree to their debut in the new Vodacom United Rugby Championship. They qualified for the Rainbow Cup Final against Benetton in Italy in 2021 in what was a transitionary tournament used to usher in the South African teams for the new Vodacom URC. The team has dominated South Africa rugby of late, winning the Carling Currie Cup – South Africa’s premier domestic competition – back-to-back on the last two occasions and the Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked title. With a history dating back to 1938 and their formation as Northern Transvaal Rugby Union, the club is one of the titans of South African rugby and has produced some of the most legendary players in the history of the game. The Vodacom Bulls remain the only South African club team to have humbled the touring British and Irish Lions when they beat them 35-30 at Loftus in 1997.
If you want to sound like a local: Sounding like a local may be tricky for some, as this would entail speaking Afrikaans, the language traditionally associated with the team and its greatest players. But another option is to carry with you a high-quality supply of biltong bought from a butcher. Sharing this with a staunch Vodacom Bulls fan will make you a lifelong friend without ever having to even say a word.
What you didn’t know: Loftus Versfeld is named after Robert Loftus Owen Verfeld, a South African rugby player and administrator who in the early 1920s imported kikuyu grass from Kenya to produce the first grass rugby field in what was then known as the Transvaal Province.