Olivier could miss S15 start
Wynand Olivier (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok centre Wynand Olivier
, currently playing in Japan, could miss the Bulls' first two Super Rugby games.
Olivier left the Bulls in the middle of last year to join Japanese club, the Ricoh Black Rams. The club had a poor season in Japan's top league and finished in a lowly 10th spot on the log. They will now feature in playoff games to determine their participation in the All Japan knockout-tournament, which takes place in during February and March.
The Bulls' Super Rugby campaign starts with a home game against the Stormers on February 22, and the agreement between the Bulls and the Rams is that Olivier only needs to be back in South Africa on March 1 if he still has club commitments. Therefore, should the Rams qualify for the knockout competition, Olivier could miss the Stormers game, as well as the one against the Force the following week.
Bulls coach Frans Ludeke
told the Beeld website
he will have a chat with Olivier later this week to clear the matter.
"We could even have him back at the end on January, and we talk on a regular basis in order to plan accordingly."
There is in any case enough depth for the Bulls mentor to pick from at inside centre.
Young guns Francois Venter - who was impressive in last year's Currie Cup - and Baby Bok hero Jan Serfontein
give Ludeke enough options.
Lionel Mapoe, who is on loan from the Lions, is likely to be the favourite for the No 13 jersey.
The Bulls will play two warm-up games before the Super-competition starts. They face the Lions at the Orlando Stadium on February 2, before locking horns with the Cheetahs in Polokwane the following week.