Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Bulls to unleash 'dream' midfield?



The Vodacom Bulls could unleash a new dream midfield pairing ahead of their Gauteng Challenge game against the MTN Lions in Soweto on Saturday as they begin their preparations for a tough Vodacom Super Rugby season ahead.

While the Bulls were buoyed by the return of veteran Wynand Olivier from Japan on Monday, the blond midfielder will rejoin his teammates from Tuesday but will not be considered for this weekend’s match, even though it is reported he is injury free and raring to play.

It was initially feared that Olivier may miss the start of the season with his Japanese team’s progress in their domestic competition, but this hasn’t been the case and Olivier returned home to South Africa on the weekend.

With Francois Venter also been ruled out of action with a groin injury and not considered this week for selection, the Bulls are likely to play their import Lionel Mapoe at outside centre, while the inside centre position is likely to fall to IRB Junior Player of the year for 2012, Jan Serfontein.

The duo are expected to be a major part of the Bulls' plans for the season and it will be interesting to see how they gel, as both are known as influential attackers in the backline with Bok futures ahead of them.

While the coaching staff are likely to mix and match their selection for this game, giving opportunities to young players in a mix of youth and experience, there have been some players ruled out through injury.

With lock Wilhelm Steenkamp (shoulder), prop Marcel van der Merwe (knee) and prop Dean Greyling (stress fracture, foot) already ruled out through pre-season injuries, the list got a bit longer as team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that Boks Zane Kirchner and Werner Kruger are also not being considered for this weekend’s game.

Kirchner and Kruger both have back strains, while import hooker Callie Visagie is also out with a hamstring. All three should be ready for next weekend’s match against the Cheetahs in Polokwane.

Currie Cup captain Dewald Potgieter will rejoin training on Tuesday while fellow loose forward Jean Cooke will undergo a fitness test on Wednesday. But on the positive side, flyhalf Louis Fouche, utility back Ulrich Beyers, winger Akona Ndungane and flank/lock Grant Hattingh are all over their niggles and can be considered for selection.

The SA under-20s have also rejoined the team and will be considered for action, with IRB Junior Rugby World Championship winning captain Wian Liebenberg resuming training on Tuesday after a hamstring strain.

Shop

The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
R157.00
Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
R114.00
South Africa XV Ball
South Africa XV Ball Now: R119 Was: R200 Format:Sport EquipmentProduct type:SportDelivery:Dispatched within 24 hours (1 working day) This fan ball...
R119.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Kyle Brown
Fans, fun and Sevens success
The week leading up to the Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens was a special one. The fans were passionate,...

Brendan Venter
Boks must think outside the box
Springbok supporters have every right to feel disenchanted after an underwhelming end-of-year tour.

Tony Johnson
Boks and Wallabies burnt in final outings
Playing the last test of the year in the last week of November has again proven to be a stumbling...

Gavin Rich
Boks learned quite a lot actually
When SuperSport returned from the Millennium Stadium to the studio discussion, it was mentioned...