The Bulls have bolstered their front row resources with the news that two-times Super Rugby-winning prop Rayno Gerber has returned to Pretoria.
Gerber, who helped the Bulls to claim the 2007 and 2009 Super Rugby championships, signed a short-term contract with the Bulls and will be available to play for the Pretoria franchise during the forthcoming season.
After the Super 14 season in 2009 Gerber signed a three-year contract with French giants Stade Francais.
While the 31-year-old prop enjoyed his experience at Stade Francais, he decided to leave the club after just two years and is now back on board at Loftus Versfeld till August ... at least.
Bulls Head Coach Frans Ludeke was very pleased with the return of the seasoned front ranker.
"Rayno has a proven track record at this level and we are delighted to secure his services," Ludeke said.
":His arrival could not have come at a better time as Rossouw de Klerk is struggling with a long term injury. He [Gerber] brings experience, stability and ability to one of the most specialised positions in the game."
Gerber said he wanted to return to South Africa as he wants his kids to grow up in SA.
"I have a young family now and they can now grow up close to their loved ones and relatives," the veteran prop said.
"It is great to join the Bulls again. I have not played for around five months now and know that the fitness regime will be brutal, but that has always been like that at the Bulls. It is good to be back."
Gerber's arrival means the Bulls - who lost Springbok World Cup winner Gurthrö Steenkamp to French club Toulouse, now have plenty of depth at prop - with the injured De Klerk, Dean Greyling, Frik Kirsten, Werner Kruger and Dawie Steyn also on their books.
Steyn, schooled across the road from Loftus Versfeld at Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool, is another off-season signing. However, he took a detour to the neighbouring Pumas before his return to Pretoria.
Gerber, who was born in Port Elizabeth and schooled at Framesby High, moved to Bloemfontein and started his professional rugby career playing for Free State. In 2002 he was selected to play for SA Under-21 and was a member of the squad that won the IRB U21 World Championships in Johannesburg under the coaching of Jake White.
In 2004, Gerber left the Cheetahs and signed a two-year contract with Leeds in England. He played well in Premiership and improved his overall game.
When his contract was completed, he felt he was more experienced and ready to have another crack at South African rugby, so he signed a three-year contract with the Bulls in Pretoria.
During his career with the Bulls, Gerber became a regular fixture in both Currie Cup and Super Rugby squads and he was an important member of the team that won the Super 14 competition in 2007 and 2009.
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