Pretoria - Springbok scrumhalf Rudy Paige has been elevated
to the vice-captaincy of the team since news of Handre Pollard’s injury broke,
Paige, who was part of the Springbok squad at the Rugby
World Cup and who won his two Test caps against Argentina and the USA, will
take over the important role in supporting season captain Adriaan Strauss in
the Super Rugby championship which starts next month.
Pollard was ruled out of the start of the Super Rugby series
after aggravating a shoulder injury in his recent stint in Japan and while he
will be assessed again after a month’s rehabilitation, the worry is that he is
likely to be out for a longer period.
While Francois Brummer will stand in for Pollard at flyhalf,
Paige is set to take over the vice-captaincy of a very young and inexperienced
backline as they face some of the toughest line-ups in world rugby.
With the vice-captaincy normally going to a senior backline
member, Paige’s chirpy personality and his popularity among his team-mates
makes him an almost automatic choice, especially with the back-three likely to
be playing in their first Super Rugby tournament and none of the midfield
positions being bolted down by any particular player.
Paige will have some competition for the halfback position
from Piet van Zyl, but the former Lions player has made the position his own
with a number of good performances in last year’s competition and will head
into this season firmly in charge of the halfback position.
The Bulls will put the first pieces of their season in place
with a team-building tour to Zimbabwe that starts this weekend.
Apart from the pre-season outing against the Cheetahs on January
31, the Bulls will also have a team-building weekend in Victoria Falls this
coming weekend before heading to Harare to prepare for the game.
Their only other pre-season match will be against the
Emirates Lions in Polokwane on February 6.
The Bulls are set to name the squad for the tour later this
Read the story on SuperSport.com.