Playing resources to be stretched as Bulls prepare to compete on two continents on the same day

Playing resources at the Bulls will be stretched to the limit this weekend when they play on two different continents in the Rainbow Cup and Currie Cup on Saturday.

2021-06-16 11:40:00 PM

Playing resources at the Bulls will be stretched to the limit this weekend when they play on two different continents in the Rainbow Cup and Currie Cup on Saturday.

Playing resources at the Bulls will be stretched to the limit this weekend when they play on two different continents in the Rainbow Cup and Currie Cup on Saturday.

16 June 2021 - 11:51Marcell Coetzee of the Bulls scores a try during the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA match against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on June 4 2021. Coetzee is relishing the responsibility of standing in for injured regular skipper Duane Vermeulen in the Rainbow Cup final.

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Image:Gordon Arons/Gallo ImagesPlaying resources at the Bulls will be stretched to the limit this weekend when they play  on two different continents in the Rainbow Cup and Currie Cup on Saturday.The Bulls begin their defence of the Currie Cup against Western Province at Loftus at 4pm, and a few hours later their other team will face Benetton Treviso in Italy in the Rainbow Cup final.

Complicating matters further is the fact that the Bulls have injuries to Embrose Papier, Arno Botha, Elrigh Louw and Duane Vermeulen. They also have to contend with Springbok call-ups for Marco van Staden, Trevor Nyakane and Morne Steyn.There is also the SA U20 camp where the Pretoria side have six players. The tricky situation has forced the coaches to call players from their clubs playing in the Carlton Cup, and means Pine Pienaar is expected to coach the Currie Cup side. headtopics.com

“We will look into our injuries. I don’t think we have too many. We will have to wait and see who are the best 25, 26, 27 men going to Italy. Then we are going to have to select from what is left and what we can get from our Carlton League clubs," said Bulls coach Jake White.

While this weekend presents the Bulls with an unusual situation, a seemingly unfazed White said they have been planning around it as they expected call-ups to the Springboks and the SA U20 team.“We have been planning for this for a while because we knew we would be short of players,” he said.

“Besides the Springbok [call-ups] and injuries, we have also lost about seven to eight players to the SA U20 camp in Cape Town. Not only have we lost a few  Springboks but we have also lost a few U20 boys who  I obviously would have loved to have as part of the Currie Cup team.

“But we have Pine Pienaar, who is the technical guy with our squad, and he has been working behind the scenes to make sure he watched a few Carlton League games."We will put a team together and from what is left over, form the guys who have been training with us for the last 10 days and we should be OK.” headtopics.com

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Looking ahead to their clash with Benetton, Bulls captain Marcel Coetzee said he is relishing the responsibility of standing in for injured regular skipper Vermeulen.“When the talks were going on for me to come back to the Bulls, I could see what was happening from a distance and the camaraderie built under Jake White and the management team. I wanted to be a part of that," he said.

“From the first day I arrived, the guys were exceptional and very welcoming. For me to be part of the Bulls family is an honour and a privilege." There is a bigger picture here than the individual, and the group is focused on that.“If you take the rugby they’ve been playing until now, it’s been local derbies. So there is excitement among the group to measure themselves against opposition from abroad.

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