Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Super 14: Bulls go into rest mode.
The Bulls feel they have put the hard yards in and it is now time to scale back before the competition proper starts.
Speaking to Die Beeld's Morris Gilbert, Bulls coach, Heyneke Meyer says, "It's necessary for us to scale down to prevent over-exertion."
They open the series against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Feb 10, but will wrap up their training for the week on Wednesday before regrouping again next week.
Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer, who has lost the services of three of his captains Victor Matfield, Gary Botha and Fourie du Preez with knee injuries, says his players have worked very hard since the training camp held in George in December.
He said it was incredible what the Bulls had achieved in their warm-up matches against the Cats, the Stormers and the Sharks.
"We trained with the same intensity all the time. We had, for example, a tough training session just before the matches against the Sharks (at Sun City)."
The coach said he has not yet decided on his final 22-man squad for the tussle with the Cheetahs.
"I'm still playing with a few ideas, because it's important to get my combinations right from the word go.," Meyer said.
The first and most important decision Meyer would have to take is to decide on a new captain. Meyer confirmed that he would choose either Johan Wasserman or Jacques Cronje, both loose forwards, as the fourth captain of the season.
Cronje had more game time for the Bulls and Blue Bulls last season, but Wasserman has more experience as captain. Prior to his injuries in 2004 and last season, he was the Bulls' Vodacom Cup captain.
The symbiotic relationship between the Bulls and the Blue Bulls was taken a step further this week. At the request of Meyer the two teams are now training together to great advantage of both.
The Bulls' Vodacom Cup team manager, Ian Schwartz said: "We see ourselves as an extension of the Bulls and that's why we will do everything we can to accommodate Heyneke's team selections.
"It is of great value to train with and against each other. There's a fantastic inter-action between the teams and their coaches."
The Bulls start their Vodacom Cup series against the Leopards in Potchefstroom on Friday next week.
In other news, Dr Tommy Snook, Bulls team doctor says it is more likely that Gary Botha will be out for 6-8 weeks rather than the feared 6-8 months.
"The medial ligaments have been torn, but the cross ligaments were only strained.
"If the cross ligaments had also been torn, he would have been out of action between six to eight months, but now it's a case of between six to eight weeks. He won't need an operation,"
It has been mooted in certain quarters that Richard Bands might play hooker but that sounds ridiculous considering he hasn't played for about 7 months.