December 6, 2021

‘If Blue Bulls are Liverpool, maybe Western Province are Orlando Pirates’ – Hlungwani

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The Buccaneers have been compared with a rugby team as the 2020 Currie Cup season starts this weekend

Western Province assistant coach Rito Hlungwani says they are the Orlando Pirates of South African rugby.

Hlungwani was responding to their rivals Blue Bulls’ head coach Jake White, who recently compared his side to English giants Liverpool FC and Manchester United.

“I’m very happy. I signed for this franchise on the basis that they are a sleeping giant,” White said on IOL after guiding Bulls to the 2020 Super Rugby Unlocked title over the weekend. 

“This is one of the best franchises in the world – this is the Liverpool or the Manchester United of rugby. You look at the teams around the world and the Bulls will be up there.

“You look at the Real Madrids, Juventuses, Liverpools or Man Uniteds, if you went to the top five or six, seven rugby clubs in the world, this would be one of them.”

The Bulls are one of the giants of South African rugby and they are co-owned by Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe with the mining magnet having bought 37% of the franchise 12 months ago.

The Pretoria-based giants are set to take on Western Province in the opening round of the 2020 Currie Cup season at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.

Hlungwani has taken a bit of a dig at White by stating that Liverpool struggled for 30 years before finally clinching the league title during the 2019/20 season.

“I just would like to say I do like a bit of soccer myself, so I think Province might be compared to Orlando Pirates,” Hlungwani said in a press conference. 

“It must be nice for them [the Bulls] to compare themselves to Liverpool, who struggled for 30 years to win anything.

“Liverpool have a good coach in Jurgen Klopp. I mean Up the Bucs if anything.”

Pirates are one of the biggest football teams in the country and they were the first PSL club to have won three major trophies in a single season back-to-back between 2010 and 2012. 

Watch Hlungwani’s response to White below: