Sport / Rugby

Sport Staff
2 minute read
3 Apr 2017
9:58 am

Bulls rope in AB de Villiers to share some #ProteaFire

Sport Staff

The struggling union insists the increased use of consultants like the Proteas one-day captain isn't a sign of desperate times.

AB de Villiers is a self-professed Bulls fan. Photo: Instagram.

It’s dark days at Loftus as the Bulls have only won one of their first five matches in this year’s Super Rugby campaign.

Despite a decent performance at the weekend against the Chiefs, where they were competitive before losing 28-12, Nollis Marais’ troops look a bit aimless.

As a result, the union is investing more and more energy in consultants.

One of them, interestingly, is Proteas one-day skipper AB de Villiers.

Also read: Super Rugby Reaction (W)Rap: The very grumpy Mr Du Preez

De Villiers, who played flyhalf for the Blue Bulls at 2002’s Craven Week, has specifically been roped in to give the Bulls insights on team culture.

Following a poor 2015/16 season, the Proteas invested in a so-called culture camp last August.

Various players have admitted afterwards how that gathering changed the team’s fortunes.

They decided to place national interests above all else and it’s led South Africa to winning a massive eight series this season.

With the Bulls trying to implement a similar model to the Lions, De Villiers was asked to share some ideas with Marais and high performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg.

Team culture is clearly something the men from Pretoria have identified as something they need to work on as they also asked Owen Eastwood, an advisor to the Proteas, to share thoughts on the matter.

But it’s not only the mental side of the game that the Bulls are concentrating on.

They’re also trying to sort out issues related to their way of playing.

Springbok assistant coaches Johann van Graan and Matt Proudfoot have already had sessions with the players.

More importantly, the Bulls’ aim of playing more skillful rugby has been illustrated by consulting New Zealand coaches.

Dave Rennie, the successful Chiefs head coach, and Wayne Smith, All Blacks assistant, have had discussions with the Bulls’ rookie coaching staff.

Barend van Graan, the union’s chief executive, insisted the sudden use of all these consultants isn’t a sign of desperation.

“We have used various consultants where needed and upon request from our coaching staff,” he said.

“This is nothing new and our head Coach and high performance manager has initiated a number of visits by consultants to advise and assist.”

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