No captaincy crisis at the Bulls, says Nizaam Carr
“Whoever the captain's armband is given to, they know what’s expected of them."
Nizaam Carr is one of the options to fill in as Bulls captain in the absence of Ruan Nortje and Marcell Coetzee. Picture: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images
The Bulls are set to be without their co-captains Ruan Nortje and Marcell Coetzee for their United Rugby Championship (URC) encounter against the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Loose forward Nizaam Carr is confident, however, that they will not face a leadership crisis in their derby clash as director of rugby Jake White has put measures in place to deal with the situation.
When White announced the co-captaincy of Nortje and Coetzee he said he wanted two captains due to potential injuries and suspensions during a long season, as it was not guaranteed that the captain would always be available.
But both of his captains are out this weekend – Nortje has a hamstring injury while Coetzee is serving a three-match suspension – and White will have to look elsewhere for a captain for the game against the Sharks.
Carr, who has led the Bulls this season against Cardiff, believes the squad’s leadership core will be able to cope without Nortje and Coetzee.
“I don’t think it’s a big concern for us,” said Carr.
“Whoever the captain’s armband is given to they know what’s expected of them. The nice thing with Jake is it’s sort of a collective effort; he has an attack and defence leader and a breakdown leader in Marco van Staden.
“It’s not everything coming from you, if you captain the team you have got that support system that Jake already puts in place. It makes it easier for us to step on the field and just focus on the referee if the decisions are going against us… just to have a word with them.
“You have departments there to sort of help you, and it was no different against Cardiff. We did well in that game, it was easy having quality players around me.”
Derby day pressure
The Bulls and Sharks will renew their rivalry this weekend. In the URC the two rugby giants have met four times, with both winning twice.
As all eyes will be on the match on Saturday, Carr believes it is an opportunity for the Bulls to show they are big game players.
“We just have to go out there and do the things we have been doing with maybe a tweak here and there,” he said.
“We as players love testing ourselves against the best in the world, so for us to test ourselves against them is exciting. These are the games where you see if you’re a big game player or not. These are the games where you have to step up and play against the best.”