Rudy Gets The Boot!

John Mitchell has signalled his intent to change the Bulls’ style of rugby to a quicker, ball in hand type of game with the introduction of three quick, running and passing scrumhalves into his Super Squad for 2018.

In doing so he has kicked current Springbok Rudy Paige firmly into touch. Paige, with 13 Springbok caps under his belt, is considered superfluous to current requirements, although Mitchell has indicated that it would be great to have him available in the event of injuries to the three he has selected for his squad.

With Piet van Zyl also having left the Bulls, it does seem as if Mitchell is building for the future as all three his scrumhalves are inexperienced youngsters.

Ivan van Zyl, André Warner and Embrose Papier are the three scrumhalves in Mitchell’s  2018 squad.

At a time when South Africa is in dire need of some fresh scrumhalf blood, it will be interesting to watch the progress of Mitchell’s three!


  1. I for one am disappointed in this guy. he started so well and was brisk around the scrum, co-ordinated with his No8 and cleared the ruck swiftly. he developed a habit of being too deliberate and became slow and when he did pick the ball up tended (like Hougaard) to run two or three steps. That is about 3 seconds allowing the defensive line to seep up and smother the attack behind the ad-line.
    But that said, this is a technique problem which should be addressed when a kid is U-12.

  2. The problem with both Hougaard and Paige (Piet van Zyl too) is that they had all the excitement and enterprise coached out of them at the Bulls. Heyneke Meyer and Frans Ludeke were the prime culprits in this crime! During the last 10 years the Bulls focussed on playing forward pod oriented crashball rugby. Scrumhalves were not required to think ahead or take chances, they were to ensure that the ball on the ground was a) protected, b) set-up for recycling, c) that a pod of forwards had set-up to receive the recycled ball, d) pop it to the pod, e) or box kick.

    Hougaard, in particular, was as exciting a rugby talent as you could imagine, when he was playing schoolboy rugby. He ran with the ball at every opportunity, he ran great supporting lines, ala TJ Perenara, and scored umpteen tries. He could pass the ball quickly and accurately and never kicked a ball. And then he went to the Bulls, where they turned him into a box-kicking automaton.