Pretoria - Blue Bulls prop Werner Kruger believes the team’s match against Japanese club Canon Eagles will be a great experience for senior and junior players.
The Bulls have named an exciting 27-man squad to tour Japan, which includes a great blend of experience and youth.
Many Bulls youth players have graduated to the senior team ahead of the Currie Cup, with seniors committed to national duty in the Springbok squad or moving on to their new teams after Super Rugby.
Kruger believes the match against the Canon Eagles will be good for the team.
“The guys are very excited. It’s not something a player in South Africa gets to experience often,” Kruger told MyPlayers.co.za.
“Only one or two of the guys have been to Japan before, so it’s going to be a new journey for most of the squad members. It’s something fresh and exciting for the guys as we prepare for a tough Currie Cup campaign next month.”
Kruger added that he’s excited to see some of the young talent on the field.
“We have many young players in the senior squad now. Some of them will play in their first Currie Cup competition,” said Kruger. “A guy like Warrick Gelant is exciting. He did very well for the Junior Springboks and has played for the Springbok Sevens before, so we know he has the skill and flair to do well.
“(Lock) RG Snyman and (scrumhalf) Ivan van Zyl have come through the SA Under-20 structures, so they will also get to prove their worth in the senior team.”
Kruger, along with the likes of Francois Hougaard, Arno Botha, Deon Stegmann, Lappies Labuschagne (who captains the team this weekend), Dean Greyling and Bandise Maku, will form part of the leadership in the Bulls squad.
He believes it’s important for the senior players to help the new faces settle in.
“It’s great to have young talent in the squad as they bring a lot of energy,” said Kruger. “We, as senior players, make sure they feel welcomed. We also bring calmness to certain situations.
“We offer advice and guidance based on our experience. We tell the young players not to rush everything and to slow down and keep focused when necessary. That’s important as they try to find their feet at senior level.”
The Bulls’ match against the Canon Eagles is scheduled for Friday, July 31.
Blue Bulls touring squad:
Backs: Warrick Gelant, Kefentse Mahlo, Travis Ismaiel, Jamba Ulengo, William Small-Smith, Dries Swanepoel, Dan Kriel, Burger Odendaal, Louis Fouche, Tian Schoeman, Francois Hougaard, Ivan van Zyl
Forwards: Hanro Liebenberg, Arno Botha, Deon Stegmann, Lappies Labuschagne, Roelof Smit, Jannes Kirsten, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Jacques du Plessis, Werner Kruger, Dean Greyling, Morne Mellett, Nqoba Mxoli, Bandise Maku, Jaco Visagie
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