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By Athenkosi Tsotsi

Sports Reporter


Bulls mirroring the Boks with depth and quality in loose-forwards

Jake White and his team are chasing a first URC title.


Bulls director of rugby Jake White must be a very happy man as things are going swimmingly for him and his team at the moment. His side have started well in the United Rugby Championship — getting regular wins under the belt and playing sparkling rugby as well. White has assembled a squad that have shown they have the potential to win a maiden URC title for the franchise; there is strength in depth in the forwards and the backs and the off-season contracting appears to be paying dividends. Loose-forwards key Should White and Co ultimately find success in this…

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Bulls director of rugby Jake White must be a very happy man as things are going swimmingly for him and his team at the moment.

His side have started well in the United Rugby Championship — getting regular wins under the belt and playing sparkling rugby as well.

White has assembled a squad that have shown they have the potential to win a maiden URC title for the franchise; there is strength in depth in the forwards and the backs and the off-season contracting appears to be paying dividends.

Loose-forwards key

Should White and Co ultimately find success in this season’s URC, their back row players will be the cornerstone of it.

The loose-trio options the Bulls have used this season have proved to be of real quality and been at the forefront of their performances. White has achieved his goal of creating depth in the department.

Co-captain Marcell Coetzee, Elrigh Louw and Cameron Hanekom started as the first options, with Nizaam Carr, Cyle Brink and Mpilo Gumede being the rotation options and now Springbok World Cup-winner Marco van Staden has also joined the party.

In the 53-27 win over Connacht at the weekend, the trio of Van Staden, Louw and Carr started the match and they had a big impact on the game, not dropping the high standards set previously by Coetzee and Hanekom.

Just like the Boks

The Springboks, who are the standard setters in rugby, have demonstrated the importance of having quality options in the back row positions, players who can start and then those men who can finish off from the bench.

The success of the Boks in the back-to-back Rugby World Cup wins in 2019 and this year was built around the loose-trio of Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Duane Vermeulen and loose forward members of the Bomb Squad, like Kwagga Smith, perhaps Jasper Wiese, and Franco Mostert in 2019. Francois Louw was also an integral member of the squad four years ago.

The Bulls have done well to mirror the Boks in this regard; they have quality loose-forwards who are of a similar calibre, can start or play off the bench, and the standard and quality of performance never drops. White will find comfort in knowing he can rotate them at any stage and still have cohesiveness in the back row.

The loose-trio options the Bulls have in their ranks will be a potent weapon this season as they chase URC success.

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