The iconic Loftus 200 team will revive this year with a match planned against the Currie Cup team of the Valke on 7th July 2018 at Loftus Versfeld. The JVL Loftus 200 team was established in 1986 as an invitational team featuring leading club players from within the BBRU club structures and have recorded many an impressive victory over Currie Cup teams in the past.
The team will be coached by Victor Matfield with another legendary Blue Bulls Akona Ndungane as Team Manager. Victor will be assisted by Carlton League coaches Gert Mulder of QBR and Marinus van der Watt from Naka Bulls Rugby Club.
According to Mr Willem Strauss, President of the Blue Bulls Rugby Union, the JVL Loftus 200 team will fill the vacuum which was created by the cancelling of the National Amateur Tournament. “With the JVL Loftus 200 Team we want to create a pathway for club players to the Blue Bulls Currie Cup squad. It is also part of our strategy to align the structures within the BBRU with one another, thereby broadening the base from which representative teams could be selected”. “I also believe that the days of contracting huge number of players are not financially viable anymore and that we need to create an additional pipeline for players with potential via our schools and club structures, as well as initiatives such as Loftus 200, to eventually progress to professional squads of the Bulls.
Victor Matfield said his blood will always be blue and that he is glad to contribute to the development of young players with potential to play at a higher level. “There are always players, especially at semi-professional club level, that deserves a second chance at professional rugby. This is also a great opportunity for the late developers to get exposure.”
Dr Eugene Hare, Chief Executive Officer of the BBRU confirmed that a second match is planned for JVL Loftus 200 later in the year to give even more exposure to the top club players in the Union. Dr Hare also confirmed that the Blue Bulls Reserve League Team, as well as Limpopo, selected from the non-Carlton league clubs, will play a number of representative matches during this year.