The Blue Bulls Tuks Rugby Academy (BBTRA) was established to reach the following outcomes:

  • Use rugby to attract passionate rugby players to University of Pretoria (Tuks) and the Blue Bulls Rugby Union.
  • To develop and broaden the talented pool of players for the Blue Bulls Rugby Union and Tuks in a well-structured rugby program.
  • Promote rugby players to study at Tuks.
  • To create an environment where rugby can be used to teach and learn good habits on and off the rugby field.
  • To use rugby to install morals and values in players.

Below is a short history of the Blue Bulls Tuks Rugby Academy (BBTRA).


After several attempts and planning sessions, the official TUKS Rugby Academy (TRA) kicked-off on 14 January 2005 with 78 students.  The focus of the TRA was to create a rugby unit on the field, off the field and in the class room. The success was shown at the end of the 2005 season with 39 TRA players representing the Blue Bulls u/19, Falcons u/19 & u/21, Pumas u/19 & u/21, Griquas and Limpopo Blue Bulls.

The following persons played a big role in the planning, administration and managing of the Tuks Rugby Academy namely, Kobus van der Walt (Direkteur: TuksSport) Gert van Coller (Tuks Rugby Manager) Freddie Grobler (General Manager), Neels Grobler, Marinus van der Watt and ex -Springbok Krynauw Otto.


AIn 2006 the TRA started with 75 first year students and 18 second year students with the highlight of the TRA U19 team winning the Blue Bulls Rugby Union U19A league!  A total of 31 players represented various provinces during the 2006 SARU provincial rugby competitions.


The TRA commenced with 83 first year and 22 second year players in 2007. Various players were selected to present provincial teams again!  The TRA also had rugby clinics in previously disadvantage areas like Atteridgeville, Mamelodi and Shoshanguve for the first time.

Troy Mashekele was selected for the SA U19 team that took place in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 4–21 April 2007.


The 2008 TRA year was in full swing with 80 first year and 30 second year students.  Again a big number of students presented the TRA in several provincial teams.

A definite highlight in 2009 was the amalgamation of the Tuks Rugby Academy with their mother Union the Blue Bulls Rugby Union. It was the birth of the Blue Bulls Tuks Rugby Academy (BBTRA)!


In 2009 Nollis Marais (current Bulls Head Coach) started coaching at the BBTRA.  The Blue Bulls also appointed Werner de Beer (Coordinator High Performance, Operations and Amateur Rugby) to assist in the BBTRA recruitment.


With the BBTRA, the 2010 season had 113 players enrolled.  The senior Tuks Varsity Cup selected two players of the BBTRA during the competition.  An exciting new component was added to the BBTRA with the sevens rugby code also introduce. The name of Freddie Grobler must be mentioned with regards to the start of sevens rugby at the BBTRA.

Franco Mosterd enrolled at the BBTRA and became the first Springbok in the fifteen man code in 2016!


A total of 109 players joined the BBTRA in 2011 with the selected teams playing excellent rugby in the Blue Bulls Rugby Carlton league.  Again a big number of BBTRA players represented the Pumas, Falcons and Griquas.  Warwick Tecklenburg (current at Golden Lions) was selected for the Blue Bulls senior Currie Cup team and Torsten v Jaarsveld (current at the Cheetahs and ex – Namibia Word Cup player, was included in the Pumas senior Currie Cup team)

Freddie Grobler took the BBTRA Sevens team to the International Lusaka Sevens Tournament in Zambia. 


Neels Grobler became the General Manager In 2012 after Freddie Grobler accepted the Director of Rugby position at St Stithian’s Boys College in Johannesburg.  The year kicked – off with 115 players. In 2012 Riaan Vorster (current CEO of Griquas Rugby Union) and Kees Lensing (ex – Namibian World Cup player and currently coaching the Cannon Eagles in Japan) joined the BBTRA as coaches.

 The BBTRA produced their first 7’s Springbok player in Dirk Dippenaar.

The year kicked – off with 115 players. In 2012 Riaan Vorster (current CEO of Griquas Rugby Union) and Kees Lensing (ex – Namibian World Cup player and currently coaching the Cannon Eagles in Japan) joined the BBTRA as coaches.  With the new management and coaches, an existing season loomed and great results was achieved in the Blue Bulls Club Competition and interprovincial competitions.


All 73 students completed the International Rugby Board (IRB) level 1 coaching course as well as a touch judge and rugby referee course early in the year.

The BBTRA produced 60% of the Tuks rugby players during this season.  Riaan Vorster and Corrie Prinsloo was chosen to coach the 1st team in the Tuks Varsity Cup.

The standout moment for the BBTRA was the matches played against the Sharks Academy on 17 September 2013 at Tuks. 


Riaan Vorster was appointed as General Manager. All 80 players completed the Boksmart and IRB level 1 coaching courses.  The BBTRA delivered 38 players that played rugby at six different rugby unions during the National Rugby Competitions.

The BBTRA furthermore presented a specialized coaching course with 60 coaches attending.      


With the following administrators and coaches resigning namely: Riaan Vorster ( CEO of Griquas Rugby Union), Neels Grobler ( Private sector) Marinus vd Watt ( Naka Bulle) and Kees Lensing ( Japan) the BBTRA lost experience and passionate personnel.

Again all 80 players completed the IRB level 1 and Boksmart courses. The Blue Bulls and Tuks management decided to plan ahead with the loss of the abovementioned names to put a new structure in place to secure the ongoing BBTRA in future. 


Due to the loss of the BBTRA experienced staff members in 2015 only 16 players attended in 2016.

Mr Gert van Coller (Manager: TUKS Rugby), Dabian Draghoender and Coenraad Boshoff took care of the BBTRA courses.

After several discussions and formal meetings between Tuks, the Blue Bulls and businessman Mr. Theuns Reynolds, the following personnel was appointed to manage the BBTRA in 2017: Wynand Moolman (General Manager), Chris Buitendach ( professional rugby coach), Len Olivier ( Ex – professional rugby player) and Thabo Motau ( Blue Bulls Rugby Referee)




Please note that credit must go to the following persons in obtaining the above information: Gert van Coller (Tuks: Rugby Manager) that provided the Tuks Rugby Year reports, Freddie Grobler, Riaan Vorster and Neels Grobler.

During the first ten years of the Blue Bulls and Tuks Rugby Academy they produced a huge number of provincial players, club players and in the winning of rugby competitions.



Nollis Marais Bulls Super Rugby Coach
David Manual Bulls Super Rugby Assistant Coach
Werner de Beer Bulls Coordinator High Performance, Operations and Amateur Rugby
Pieter du Plessis Bulls Super Rugby Physio
Shaun du Toit Bulls Super Rugby Conditioner
Franco Mosterd Springbok 2016
Dirk Dippenaar Springbok 7’s
Warrick Tecklenburg Lions Super Rugby
Andries Coetzee Lions Super Rugby
Torsten van Jaarsveld Namibia World Cup
Johan Tromp Namibia World Cup
JC Greyling Namibia World Cup