Not only do the Blue Bulls want to sign Griquas’ Springbok wing Bjorn Basson, but they have now also added flyhalf Naas Olivier to their shopping list.
It was reported last week that the majority of the big unions are after Basson’s services and the Bulls are leading the chase.
Sport24 has reliably learned that Bulls kicking coach Vlok Cilliers had contacted Olivier last week to hear when his contract expires.
Griquas’ budget for contracted players is small compared to that of the Bulls and they may well decide to let Olivier go if they are offered a large enough transfer fee.
The Bulls have a problem with their flyhalf depth for next year’s Currie Cup as neither Morné Steyn nor Jacques-Louis Potgieter will be available next season.
Steyn is expected to be the Springboks’ first-choice flyhalf at the World Cup in New Zealand, while Potgieter will play for the Sharks next year.
It is no surprise that the Bulls are interested in Olivier. He is one of the leading points scorers in the Currie Cup and his success ratio at posts is 85% – without a kicking coach.
He already impressed for the Cheetahs in this year’s Super 14 and has played a decisive role with his boot in every Currie Cup match.
Griquas chief executive Arni van Rooyen emphasised that Olivier’s contract only expires at the end of 2011.
“Naas’s contract only expires at the end of next year. No-one has spoken to the union about acquiring his services. Not even the Bulls,” said Van Rooyen.
Bulls high performance manager Ian Schwartz said that Olivier is a gifted senior player that “holds a leadership position”.
“We will not, however, be interested in his services while he is under contract at Griquas.”
Meanwhile, Griquas kept alive their play-off hopes with a 29-20 win over the Leopards in Kimberley on Friday night.
Griquas travel to Newlands this week for a match against Western Province.