The Blue Bulls Company (BBCo.) has appointed Edgar Marutlulle as the head coach of the Vodacom Bulls for the upcoming 85th edition of South Africa’s premier rugby division, the 2023 Currie Cup competition.
Marutlulle, a seasoned campaigner at the Vodacom Bulls, has successfully built a strong reputation as a winning coach, having established himself as a prominent figure within the junior rugby structures in Pretoria that have become indispensable over the last couple of seasons. Most recently, he mentored the under-21s to victory during their SA Rugby Cup title defence campaign that would see all South African Rugby junior titles call Loftus, home.
The former Lions, Leopards, Kings and Vodacom Bulls hooker-turned-coach is no stranger to the Currie Cup coaching team, having served as an assistant coach during the 2022 campaign. In his role, Marutlulle will be supported by Gert Smal, Hugo van As and Sean Everitt.
The Vodacom Bulls – 2020 and 2021 champions – will begin their Currie Cup campaign against defending champions, the Airlink Pumas on Sunday 12 March at Loftus Versfeld.
Marutlulle said the opportunity to coach the Vodacom Bulls was a once-in-a-lifetime and to get to do it in South Africa’s oldest premier rugby competition is more than career-defining.
“I am extremely privileged to be a 35-year-old coaching at the Vodacom Bulls, I completely understand that it is not a normal thing and so the moment is not lost to me,”
“The Currie Cup remains a prestigious competition in our eyes and our ambition is to do well in this year’s campaign. We are competing wanting to add number 26 on the honours board, continuing with that culture of making Loftus home to the Currie Cup.”
The Boksburg native touts his ability to connect and relate to the players as one of his biggest assets in being able to lead the side.
“I can relate to all the players we have in our squad, having earned my stripes through all the various steps of rugby in South Africa. I also can relate to the side because I have been around 40% of this group since their junior days whilst I was playing for the Vodacom Bulls. I know what being a club player invited into a professional setup is like. I understand what it is like to be in Phumzile Maqondwana’s shoes or in Elrigh Louw’s shoes from a Springbok dream point of view,”
“So, we are all working from the same base and have incredible mutual respect amongst one another and this stems from knowing what each stage brings and having that trust that we both have each other’s best interests at heart.”
The Pukke alumni praised the opportunity to work with his coaching ensemble, touting the insurmountable intellectual properties that set them apart.
“We have incredible coaches here at Loftus, world-class coaches like Jake [White], Sean [Everitt], Gert [Smal] and Hugo [van As] – a wide array of coaching experience coming together to push forward with our franchise goals, so I am excited to add to that value-chain and do my part in continuing to breed successful Vodacom Bulls teams.”
BBCo. Director of Rugby, Jake White said: “We are extremely proud of the work Edgar has put into his coaching, upskilling himself and investing a lot of time into becoming one of the leading young minds in rugby. To grow the sport in our environment, we need to retain the services of top-class coaches and he is one of those that we have here at Loftus,”
“He brings with him a wealth of experience and understanding of our systems and understands what it takes to win having led the junior teams to victories and has had the opportunity to be part of the Currie Cup setup before. This dynamic experience that he has as a player and now coach will be invaluable to the side during this campaign,”
“We are in the Currie Cup to win it and as a premier competition that we prioritise, Edgar understands the importance of the task before him and fortunately he has an incredible coaching team around him for support. Together they have our full support because we all understand that the success of that squad will serve us well in the other two competitions that we are participating in.”
VODACOM BULLS CURRIE CUP MANAGEMENT:
- Jake White – Director of Rugby
- Edgar Marutlulle – Head Coach
- Sean Everitt – Defence & Breakdown
- Hugo van As – Backline
- Gert Smal – Forwards
VODACOM BULLS 2023 CURRIE CUP FIXTURES:
Round 1 – Sunday, 12 March | 13:00 | vs Airlink Pumas – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Round 2 – Friday, 17 March | 19:05 | vs DHL Western Province – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Round 3 – Friday, 24 March | 17:00 | vs Toyota Cheetahs – Toyota Stadium
Round 4 – Friday, 31 March | 15:00 | vs NovaVit Griffons – Down Touch Investment Stadium
Round 5 – Friday, 7 April | 17:00 | vs Windhoek Draught Griquas – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Round 6 – Friday, 14 April | 15:30 | vs Cell C Sharks – Hollywoodbets Kings Park
Round 7 – Saturday, 22 April | 18:30 | vs Fidelity ADT Lions – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Round 8 – Saturday, 29 April | 17:00 | vs DHL Western Province – DHL Stadium
Round 9 – Saturday, 6 May | 17:05 | vs Cell C Sharks – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Round 10 – Saturday, 13 May | 15:00 | vs Windhoek Draught Griquas – Windhoek Draught Park
Round 11 – Saturday, 20 May | 17:00 | vs Fidelity ADT Lions – Emirates Airline Park
Round 12 – Saturday, 27 May | 17:00 | vs Airlink Pumas – Mbombela Stadium
Round 13 – Friday, 2 June | 17:05 | vs NovaVit Griffons – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Round 14 – Saturday, 10 June | 15:00 | vs Toyota Cheetahs – Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Semifinals – Saturday, 17 June
semifinal 1 15:00
Semifinal 2 17:00
Final – Saturday 24 June @ 17:00