Bulls dash Hougaard's hopes of returning to Loftus
The Bulls have turned down a request from Saracens fly-half Derick Hougaard to return to South Africa to play for them.
The former Springbok pivot - currently recovering after an Achilles operation - was in Pretoria recently where he held talks with Bulls coach Frans Ludeke and senior professional coach Heyneke Meyer about a possible return to Loftus Versfeld where he played from 2002 to 2008.
According to the Beeld newspaper, uncertainty regarding Hougaard's form after his operations (he had two recent operations on his Achilles) probably discouraged the Bulls to offer him a contract.
"Unfortunately we cannot currently accommodate Derick in our structure.
"If Derick is fit and injury-free, he will still be a world class player," said Meyer.
"And if the situation changes and circumstances necessitate it, we will gladly call on him."
Hougaard, who has not made a secret about his wish to return to South Africa, is disappointed that talks between him and his former employers about a possible return have failed.
"I got so many messages from fans after the news that I might come back, but who knows, maybe things will work out one day," said Hougaard.