Bulls set to rest Pollard
Pretoria - The Bulls look set to rest Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard for Saturday’s final tour game against the Rebels in Melbourne.
According to the supersport.com website, the Bulls took the strange move of flying in Tian Schoeman - not originally selected for the tour - with the blonde flyhalf set to be on the bench this weekend in Melbourne after joining his team-mates on tour on Tuesday morning.
Ironically the move to bring over a player so late, and without any injury problems has highlighted just how badly the planning has been in terms of tour selection, with team doctor Org Strauss confirming that there are no serious injuries in the team at the moment.
For now it looks as if Jacques-Louis Potgieter will take over as flyhalf in the must-win game for the Bulls with Schoeman likely to be on the bench.
While the Bulls have kept the news quiet, it emerged via Schoeman’s agent, who placed a facebook post congratulating him on his call-up.
The tour started off with the Bulls promising they would be playing attacking rugby, only to limp to three defeats where they did little more than over-emphasise their maul and kicking game, often without the desired results.
Pollard has already been played six games in a row - and should have been rested according to the SARU agreement already. The pressure on franchises to comply with the agreements they signed at the beginning of the season has intensified, especially as all teams committed themselves to the rest periods now under discussion.
The Bulls flew Schoeman over as they have no cover for flyhalf other than Potgieter, with Jurgen Visser - who himself only arrived a week ago – being the only other player who could play in the 10 jersey.
Visser ironically was only flown in when midfielder Jan Serfontein was injured, and ahead of former SA under-20 captain William Small-Smith, another to be left out of the touring squad.
The Bulls then played Visser shortly after arriving as there was a concern that Jesse Kriel’s knee wasn’t right, underlining the fact they didn’t have cover for Kriel when they selected the touring squad.
These moves have raised questions about the composition of the touring squad, as it now looks as if the decision to fly Schoeman over was made at the last minute.
The Bulls will also indicate on Tuesday on the seriousness of the injuries to Burger Odendaal, who has an upper thigh haematoma, while Deon Stegmann has been ruled out of selection with bruised ribs.
The team for the clash against the Rebels will also be named then with the Bulls needing 10 points from their last two games to have a hope of making the playoff rounds.