Ken Borland

By Ken Borland


Nyakane out as injuries hit Bulls hard ahead of Rainbow Cup

Regular captain Duane Vermeulen, and outside backs Gio Aplon and Travis Ismaiel will also miss the match at Loftus Versfeld.


Tighthead props have always been the pearl in the crown as far as Bulls coach Jake White is concerned when it comes to picking his teams, but unfortunately the World Cup-winning coach is going to have to do without his first-choice No 3, Springbok star Trevor Nyakane, for their opening Rainbow Cup match against the Lions on Saturday.

According to the injury report released on Monday evening by team doctor Herman Rossouw, Nyakane has a rib injury and “will in all likelihood miss the first game but should not be out for too long”.

Rossouw described it as a “new injury”, so Nyakane must have picked it up in training.

Springbok Marcel van der Merwe has been released to play for La Rochelle in France as a medical joker, so Nyakane’s replacement is likely to be 23-year-old Mornay Smith, who is considered a highly promising young tighthead.

ALSO READ: Lions tour matches to take place in two cities only – report

Regular captain Duane Vermeulen has received much well-deserved adulation for his role in reviving the Bulls but the Springbok hero also won’t be available on Saturday, although he has begun light training after knee surgery, along with outside backs Gio Aplon and Travis Ismaiel.

Wing Stravino Jacobs, another rising star, is also back in training, while lock Walt Steenkamp has fully recovered from the heart problems he had after contracting Covid and has been given the green light to start training again.

Fans will also be happy to see exciting loosehead prop Simphiwe Matanzima is back on the field again after tearing his Achilles tendon eight months ago.

Read more on these topics

Bulls Rugby Team Trevor Nyakane

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits