Springboks Jaco Pretorius and Wynand Olivier will combine their creative geniuses in the Bulls midfield, as the Pretoria-based franchise aim to a win a second Super Rugby title.
Rugby 365 reports that the Bulls’ backline coach, Pieter Rossouw, revealed in a online chat on the Bulls’ website that Pretorius is ahead of Bulls stalwart JP Nel in the midfield pecking order.
Pretorius, a Lions import, is in his first season with the Bulls. He is a former South African Sevens captain, who made his provincial debut for the Lions in 2001. Pretorius has since then played in more than 60 matches for the Lions and is one of the best attacking centres in the country. His running lines are superb and his ball distribution skills combined with his speed are going to add exceptional value to the Bulls.
Nel returns to the Bulls at the end of the Japanese season and while he is defensively one of the best centres in the tournament, he will most likely get most of his game time off the bench. His partnership with Olivier was one of the many reasons for the Bulls’ success in 2007. Nel is one of the most experienced Super Rugby players in South Africa and can be of immense value to the Bulls.
However, the Bulls’ backline guru, Rossouw, himself a veteran of many internationals for South Africa, revealed that Nel will only be available for the Super 14 season – giving Pretorius the edge.
“Jaco has a three-year contract [with the Bulls] and at this stage he has the inside track to start in the No.13 jersey,” Rossouw said on the Bulls’ website.
Rossouw also revealed that while the Bulls are aiming to evolve their attacking game, they are not going to move away from their key strength – a powerful forward pack.
He said they will never attempt to imitate teams like the Stormers, Brumbies and Crusaders in playing an all-out attacking game.
“We would like to take out forwards, with which we had so much success, and add to that by being more creative and intelligent on attack,” Rossouw said.
“It is vital not to move away from the strengths of the Bulls, while taking into account that the laws have changed and that mauling is now virtually impossible – which requires some adjustments.
“We were certainly very successful with our attacking game, as we scored the most tries in the Currie Cup competition [in 2008] and none of those were mauling tries.”Tweet