Blue Bulls 'part ways' with Bok wing Sbu Nkosi

Sbu Nkosi and Blue Bulls have mutually agreed to part ways. File photo
Sbu Nkosi and Blue Bulls have mutually agreed to part ways. File photo
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

The Blue Bulls and troubled Springbok wing Sbu Nkosi have agreed to part ways, the franchise said on Monday.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup winner was reported missing in December 2022 after going absent without leave (Awol) for about three weeks. He was later found at his father’s house in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga.

He took a break to deal with his mental health issues and made a return to play in a 23-19 United Rugby Championship (URC) loss against the Stormers at Loftus in February.

The Bulls, though, said it was Nkosi's wish to move on from his time at Loftus. 

“The Blue Bulls Company has agreed to the early termination of Sbu Nkosi’s contract by mutual consent and the 27-year-old will leave the club with immediate effect,” the Bulls said on Monday afternoon.

“After a season in the capital, Nkosi’s adventure at the Bulls comes to an end with the conclusion of the 2022-2023 rugby calendar as the player looks to pursue his rugby elsewhere.”

Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone said Nkosi felt he should move.

“I would like to thank Sbu for all that he has contributed towards our campaigns during his time with us. I know it wasn’t an easy time for him personally, but I am confident the support we provided to him was invaluable,” Rathbone was quoted as saying.

“Having a Springbok winger of his calibre in our team has been a pleasure. I know he now feels as though it is the best time to move on and we respect his wishes.”

In March 2022 Bulls coach Jake White confirmed Nkosi’s signing from the Sharks, which would commence from the end of the 2021-2022 URC campaign.

In early December the Bulls appealed for information on the whereabouts of the winger, revealing Nkosi had been Awol for three weeks.

On his return, Rathbone said the franchise hoped to get Nkosi “back on his feet again”.

In February the player was supposed to address a press conference but the briefing was cancelled at the 11th hour. The Blue Bulls instead released a 36-minute video interview where Nkosi said: “I am good.

“I can say that I am out of the cage, I am feeling myself again and my spirit has been revived.”