CJ will be used in a different capacity ... as an impact player
Springbok training squad member CJ Stander may be heading abroad soon, but he still has a crucial role to play for the Bulls.
Stander, who last week dropped the bomb that he has signed a lucrative contract with Irish club side Munster, has been relegated to the bench for the Bulls' Super Rugby encounter with the Cheetahs in Pretoria on Saturday.
Coach Frans Ludeke made only one change to his starting XV, with newly capped Springbok Jacques Potgieter replacing Stander on the flank, with the latter taking the place of Arno Botha on the bench.
The Bulls mentor said Stander is not being discarded because of his impending departure at the end of the year.
"He [Stander] still needs to play a big role in our campaign," Ludeke told a media briefing in Pretoria.
"Obviously Jacques [Potgieter] was the starting blindside flank [before he suffered an knee injury against the Rebels early in May].
"He is fit and ready to go and he also had his first Test last weekend.
"CJ will be used in a different capacity ... as an impact player," the coach added.
Stander, who can play flank or No.8, will join the Irish province, Munster, after his contract with Bulls expires on November 1.
He signed a two-year with the Irish giants. As Munster could not sign any more internationally capped players, he has been signed as a project player. This means that Stander would be eligible to play for Ireland under IRB residency laws if he stayed with Munster for three years.
He captained the South Africa Under-20 team in 2010 and was called up to train with the Springboks squad for the June Tests against England - even though he never made the matchday 22.
Saturday's match will also be a memorable moment for Bulls stalwart Wynand Olivier, as he plays his 100th game for the Pretoria-based side.
This follows his solid performance for the Springboks in last weekend's Test against England in Port Elizabeth.
Bulls captain Pierre Spies said it was a great milestone for a player who has played an integral part in the team over the years.
"Only the players really understand the worth of it, playing his 100th Super Rugby game and playing it at 29 years of age is really special," said Spies.
"He made his debut the same day I did and he came on as a replacement for me on the wing.
"He is a great player and we are really proud of him for what he has done on the field."