Bulls' Boks to feature at Cape Town Stadium
Brenden Nel - SuperSport.com
Pretoria - The Bulls are likely to bring out the big guns for Sunday's superhero pre-season clash with the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium.
Coach Pote Human confirmed to SuperSport.com that the new acquisitions of Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits, as well as the Bulls other Springboks Handre Pollard, Jesse Kriel, RG Snyman, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Embrose Papier and Warrick Gelant will all get game time on the weekend at the festival match, so as to get them ready for the start of Super Rugby in three weeks' time.
Vermeulen arrived at Loftus Versfeld last week and hasn't been part of the pre-season training, while Garth April, another new acquisition, will arrive on Monday and get his first taste of things at Loftus Versfeld as well.
"I want to give all the Boks opportunities to start playing, because there are only two games left before the Stormers (the Bulls open their Super Rugby campaign at home against the Stormers on February 16), and we can look at the guys coming back from Japan and see what their fitness is," Human said after the pre-season 21-17 win over the Lions on Saturday.
"Duane will be in the mix, he is very keen and he was here this week and he will fall in on Monday. He will definitely be available and I want to give him the opportunity to play."
While both teams won't want to show too much ahead of their return meeting two weeks later in the opening round of the competition, Human was keen to get his players through the match so they can take a step closer to the season.
"There never has been a pre-season game against the Stormers, so it will be tough. Especially as I believe it will be a sellout crowd and it will be awesome. But I just want the guys to get the practice behind them and carry on from there."
While most of the game was error-ridden and the Bulls were heavily penalised at times in the Lions game, for a pre-season hit out, without injuries, the Bulls coach was rather happy and thought his side played well.
"Especially the first half, I thought we really played some good rugby in the first half, apart from the soft moment at halftime. The second half we put them under pressure but couldn't finish the game," he explained.
"That’s a concern, it is definitely a concern. The first 25 minutes not one penalty and then suddenly eight in a row. We gave away too many penalties, but it is good that it happenen now so that we can work on it."
And the side had more than ample opportunities but cases of white line fever were everywhere at Loftus over the weekend.
"If you get there you must finish, and at Super Rugby level you have two or three opportunities to use it and we didn't use it today."
Human was more than happy with his players, especially the midfield of JT Jackson and Franco Naude, who were powerful, while Rosko Specman and Cornal Hendricks caught the eye as did captain Ruan Steenkamp.
"I thought they were excellent, as was (Thembelani) Bholi and Stoney Steenkamp was his old self. We scrummed very well, so there are good performances from most of the guys
"It's a new team, Rosko didn't have much space and Cornal did well for the little ball he had. I’m happy for their first time out for the Bulls."
The Bulls are set to name their team for the clash on Wednesday.
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