Van Vuren looking to challenge Bulls 9s after leaving Lions

    2019-01-31 18:56

    Brendan Nel -

    Pretoria - A season or so ago he was seen as one of the rising stars in South African rugby, but then Marco Jansen van Vuren disappeared.

    The lanky scrumhalf re-appeared at the Bulls last week and made a cameo in the pre-season match against his old franchise, the Lions, showing glimpses of why he was rated so highly. 

    But now that he is in Pretoria Jansen van Vuren wants to have a full go and challenge the Bok duo of Ivan van Zyl and Embrose Papier for a place in the Bulls starting line-up.

    “Me and my agent decided that it was better for me to move to get some game time, because in the Currie Cup I didn’t get some game time. Then stuff was a little difficult, and I got the opportunity at the Sevens to go and train, and keep on moving. This opportunity came along the path, and I’m humble to be here,” Jansen van Vuren said from the sidelines of the Bulls training session.

    So why would a player come to a franchise where there are already two Springboks in the position he will vie for?

    “I must say, I’ve played with both of them at SA under-20 and we are a young group of 9s. It is great competition to get the best out of all of us. Everyone is on the same level and it is just game time and for me it is good to everyday push each other.

    “I’ll have to (challenge them), but I am excited and just some game time is what I need to show what I have and coach Pote can decide.”

    Jansen van Vuren believes the Lions preference for shorter, nippy halfbacks was the reason he never really got game time at the Lions, but reckons he will fit in better at the Bulls.

    “I think coach Swys likes the shorter, more nippy scrumhalves and I think here at the Bulls it is much better because the nines take much more control at the exits so that is one of my strengths, exiting and kicking the ball. At the Lions, all my strengths they didn’t use, they played a more running game, and here at the Bulls they use the kicking game more, and nines take more control and that suits me nicely.”

    And his style resembles a Bulls legend, built almost in the same vein as Joost van der Westhuizen, someone he has modelled himself on and admired since he was small.

    “Definitely the way he played the game is just amazing and I look up to that. Like Fourie (du Preez) and him and when people tell me I’m too tall to be a scrumhalf, I tell them ‘why can’t you be so tall to play scrumhalf?’ I look up to them and am inspired by the way they played the game.”

    It seems that either way the competition at nine will be fierce this season, especially since Andre Warner also arrived back from a stint with Stade Francais in the off-season.

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