The Bulls suffered a double blow in the build-up to the start of their Super 14 campaign, when two key forwards suffered injuries in the opening pre-season fixture against the Lions last Saturday.
The Bulls’ tighthead prop Rayno Gerber suffered a groin injury in the 21-44 loss to the Lions last Saturday, and he is set to miss the start of the Super 14 season proper, according to Rugby365.
The team doctor Org Strauss confirmed that Gerber has a small tear in his groin and it will take two to three weeks to make a full recovery.
Versatile loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg will also be on the sideline due to a knee injury, when the Bulls face the Cheetahs in their second warm-up match in Polokwane on Friday, but he is expected to be back on the playing field in less than 10 days.
Good news is that Springbok midfielder Jaco Pretorius is making steady progress, following his back injury and Strauss will make a call on his availability, for Friday’s match, later in the week.
The rest of the squad are all training flat out and apart from the above mentioned players all the Springboks are eligible for Friday’s clash.
The injury of Gerber now means coach Frans Ludeke will have to dip into his reserve strength – with the young Frik Kirsten a likely replacement.
The injury disruptions will not stop Ludeke from fielding his strongest team – with Victor Matfield to lead the team in his hometown, while the likes of Fourie du Preez, Pierre Spies, Deon Stegmann, Morné Steyn, Wynand Olivier, Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana and Akona Ndungane will all be given free reign at the Peter Mokhaba Stadium.
The Bulls coach, Ludeke, also grew up in Polokwane and he is extremely excited about the prospect of playing in his hometown.
“The people of Polokwane have always been fanatic Blue Bulls supporters and I remember as a kid how we used to follow the Bulls. In our minds there was only one team in South Africa and the town was always firmly behind the Bulls.
“It is as if the hearts of the people of Polokwane are involved with the Bulls and we are very thankful for their loyal support.
“Polokwane is also one of the countries finest rugby factories and year after year they produce players for the Blue Bulls but also for the other provinces.”
The Bulls captain, Matfield, matriculated in 1995 at Hoërskool Pietersburg and he and his team are totally focused to win their second Super 14 trophy.
This will be the Super 14 team’s second warm-up match, with an encounter against the Sharks on February 4 to follow – before their season officially starts against the Reds at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, February 14.Tweet