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Rassie Erasmus wishes Bulls well ahead of Leinster clash

The Springboks coach has sent his support to the men from Pretoria who face a tough Irish side for a place in the final.

Rassie Erasmus believes it’s important for SA rugby that the Bulls progress to the Vodacom URC final, even if it means the Springboks soldier on without their star players.

The Bulls host Leinster in a semi-final at Loftus Versfeld today that plates a delectable appetiser to the July series between the Boks and Ireland in the Republic.

A 35-man Bok squad is currently training in Pretoria. The matchday 23 for the opening Test of this season, against Wales at Twickenham next Saturday, will be announced on Tuesday.

Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse have been ruled out for the the Highveld clash this week but Jake White is set to unleash two-time world champion Willie le Roux and fellow seasoned campaigners Marcell Coetzee, Wilco Louw, Akker van der Merwe and Johan Goosen with rising stars Elrigh Louw and Ruan Nortje.

White’s men stunned Leinster in the 2021/22 semi-finals to reach the showpiece of the inaugural URC, only to lose to the DHL Stormers, who hosted back-to-back deciders.

Speaking in a Bok conference on Thursday, Erasmus emphasised the significance of the URC showdown at Loftus ahead of the world champions locking horns with reigning Six Nations champions Ireland next month.

Also read: ‘Be Bok and adopt a Bull’

“All countries are striving to have a franchise like Leinster; they do sometimes lose big matches but they are consistently in the top four or host a final or in finals and semi-finals, and that transfers into the national team,” he told reporters.

“For us, if the Bulls can pull this one through… I think it’s going to be really, really tough but if the Bulls can pull it through we’re fully behind them.

“As much as I would love to have them in our camp and be with us every single minute since Monday … if it means we have to do without the Bulls and a SA franchise goes through I think that’s very important.

“It’ll boost us overall to eventually get Champions Cup victories and so on; the URC is another stepping stone and it’s not only the Stormers. So [Saturday’s result] is vitally important.”

Should the Bulls lose to Leinster, the likes of Le Roux will be available to tackle the Welsh, and Erasmus addressed their potential selection.

“In certain positions we’ll have a few young guys next to each other, then some of the Bulls guys understand how we want to play and change a few things. Most of them have been at the alignment camps,” he said.

“A guy like Willie le Roux might be someone who could just help settle down some of the combinations. So depending on how the guys do and injury wise… but it wouldn’t be ideal for them to just have trained three training sessions and play a Test match against Wales.”

The post Boks back Bulls to lash Leinster appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.

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