Jake White says Henry Immelman will soon show how good he is
'I’m hoping this is the beginning of him getting on the field and showing what he’s good at.'
Henry Immelman speaking to the media at a press conference at Loftus Versfeld this week. Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images.
Bulls director of rugby, Jake White, is hoping that Saturday’s Champions Cup clash against the Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate will be the start of utility back Henry Immelman showing what he has to offer.
Immelman is a bit of an unknown player to the South African rugby fraternity as he left for Europe in 2016 almost straight after finishing high school.
He would join his current boss, White, at French outfit Montpellier and spend five seasons there before joining Scottish side Edinburgh. He then signed for the Bulls last year on a three-year contract.
Speaking on his return to South Africa, Immelman said it was always in the pipeline, and the Bulls were the perfect fit for him as he grew up supporting them.
“The reason I came back was I wanted to play rugby for a South African franchise,” said Immelman when speaking to the media this week.
“I have always wanted to come back, being at the Bulls is special because I grew up supporting the Bulls as a young kid. I enjoyed my time abroad, picked up some experience and played in different cultures there,” he said.
Key to Immelman returning home was the man who took him to Europe, White. The former Springboks coach is well aware of Immelman’s talent as he spotted it while he was still a schoolboy.
‘People not aware of how good he is’
The 28-year-old-is yet to hit the ground running at the Bulls but White knows it’s a matter of time before he shows what he has in his locker.
“I said to him he mustn’t feel down on himself. I think that people who haven’t seen enough of him are not aware of how good he is,” said White.
“I took him to Montpellier when he was a 20-year-old. He can play 12, 13, and play wing and fullback. He offers me a lot, not only because he is versatile, but he’s been around the block, has played in Europe. I’m hoping this is the beginning of him getting on the field and showing what he’s good at.”
Securing top four
Immelman will get his chance off the bench against Bristol on Saturday. The former Grey College prodigy is keen to grab his opportunity and help the team push for a playoff spot.
“We are a massive squad here. You always have to be ready as a player and when the time comes you have to use that opportunity.
“We spoke about it (the playoffs). We are not in a good or bad spot. The next few games we are going to play, we have to up our performance and get a few points and move up into that top four position,” said Immelman.