'Local sides cannot compete financially'
Bulls coach Nollis Marais has admitted South African sides do not have the financial strength to compete with overseas counterparts after the announcement that Springbok centre Jan Serfontein will leave Loftus at the end of the season.
The highly rated Serfontein announced this week he has decided not to renew his contract with the Pretoria side and will explore more lucrative opportunities abroad.
"I knew about Jan's situation and to be honest it is difficult to keep guys like that in South Africa," said Marais yesterday after announcing the squad to face the Cheetahs at Loftus tomorrow.
"We offered him a contract, the Springboks offered him a contract, I sat him down but he believes there will be better opportunities outside the country.
"We cannot compete against the amounts of money these guys get overseas, unless we let go of seven guys."
Serfontein, who is not available this weekend as per a Saru agreement, is among changes that Marais has made for the clash against the visitors from Bloemfontein.
In other changes, Jacobie Adriaanse will earn his 30th cap at tighthead prop in place of rested Trevor Nyakane while Jason Jenkins will start at lock where he has swapped places with RG Snyman.
With Serfontein not available, Jesse Kriel moves to No13, Warrick Gelant slots in at fullback and Duncan Naude will make the bench as the Bulls look for revenge after a first- round loss in Bloemfontein.
"We expected more from the side at the beginning but we are at home and we just have to look at this weekend's game and nothing beyond that.
"They [Cheetahs] are playing good rugby at the moment, they are competitive and they create opportunities to score.
"I don't think we are the same team from the last time we lost to them in Bloemfontein at the beginning of the season.
"We are different in terms of player fitness and attitude, we are playing at home and that makes a huge difference."
TMG Digital/TMG Sport