RUGBY NEWS - Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell reportedly wants 90 million rand (about $6,850 mn/5,850 mn euros) to bolster Super Rugby strugglers Northern Bulls for the 2019 season.
A trio of South Africa forwards, prop Frans Malherbe, flanker Jean-Luc du Preez and number eight Duane Vermeulen, are among those believed to be on his shopping list.
Malherbe is with the Western Stormers, Du Preez plays for the Coastal Sharks team coached by his father Robert and Vermeulen recently joined Japanese outfit Kubota Spears.
It is understood that Mitchell, who took his native New Zealand to the 2003 Rugby World Cup semi-finals, would also like to hire veteran former Springboks hooker Schalk Brits.
After leaving London club Saracens this year and retiring, Brits returned home for a holiday only to became a shock addition to the South Africa squad for a series victory over England.
The Bulls are the only South African side to become Super Rugby champions, winning the 2007, 2009 and 2010 finals with stars like Fourie du Preez, Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield.
Mitchell made a dream start to his two-season contract this year with a shock home victory over the Wellington Hurricanes, but the Bulls ended 12th with only six wins in 16 matches.
Mitchell recently said that a South African side will not win the competition in the foreseeable future because the four squads lack depth.
"To rely on just a few world-class and Super Rugby-quality players is a joke. We need greater strength in depth."
A South African side, the Golden Lions from Johannesburg, have reached the 2018 final and play the Canterbury Crusaders this Saturday in Christchurch.