Home Strategy Marketing Bulls coach offers hope Saracens-bound Ivan van Zyl won't depart too soon

Bulls coach offers hope Saracens-bound Ivan van Zyl won’t depart too soon


  • Bulls assistant coach Chris Rossouw has offered some hope that Saracens-bound Ivan van Zyl will only leave Pretoria by mid-2021.
  • While the deal has not even been ratified yet, the English giants’ season in the country’s second division could dissuade the Bok halfback from reportedly departing at the end of the month.
  • Rossouw said there’s no denying that the 25-year-old is having an “unbelievable season” to date.

While categorically stating that he actually has little insight into the matter, Bulls assistant coach Chris Rossouw has offered some hope that Ivan van Zyl won’t be departing for England by the end of the month.

Edgar Rathbone, the franchise’s CEO, earlier on Monday confirmed to Netwerk24 that the influential Springbok scrumhalf had indicated previously that he wants to further his career in England, with Saracens being the winning bidder.

But reports of the disgraced giants of the English game enlisting him as early as this month are off the mark as no deal has been ratified yet and Van Zyl will only be released by July 2021.

“Well, Saracens are currently playing in the second division (following their automatic relegation for breach of salary cap regulations),” said Rossouw.

“So I’d think he’ll only move once his contract is up next year, but I’m not aware of anything concrete.”

What is undeniable though is that the six-cap international has revived his career since local rugby’s resumption, revelling under the guidance of Jake White and co as well as his once-weekly sessions with the Springbok legend Fourie du Preez.

Van Zyl went through a noticeable dip in confidence through 2019 as his rotational duel for the Bulls’ No jersey with fellow Bok Embrose Papier influenced both negatively.

But those dark days seem behind him.

“Ivan is having an unbelievable season,” said Rossouw.

“We’ve always known that his basics are outstanding. He has one of the best passes, not only in South African rugby but perhaps in the world.”

Ironically, it’s that focus on the basics that has perhaps hamstrung him previously.

“Previously, Ivan concentrated so much on just providing good service for his flyhalf and cleaning out rucks that he sometimes forgot to scan the field for other opportunities to create some awareness for the defence,” said Rossouw.

“We worked a lot on that during lockdown, getting his spatial awareness up and it’s paying off. He’s really varied his game well between kicking and looking for that odd gap to put an opposition defence under pressure. 

“Never has he neglected his basics of good service. He’s really had an unbelievable season to date.” 



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