Olivier to miss Super Rugby start?

Thu, 10 Jan 2013 16:29
Large wynand olivier bulls 630 Large wynand 630 Large olivier 630

Springbok centre Wynand Olivier could miss the Bulls' first two Super Rugby matches due to club commitments in Japan.

Springbok centre Wynand Olivier could miss the Bulls' first two Super Rugby matches due to club commitments in Japan.

Olivier left the Bulls and joined the Black Rams on sabbatical after last year’s Super Rugby season. The club endured a poor campaign in Japan’s top league which saw them finish a lowly 10th.

The Black Rams will turn their focus to their upcoming play-off games which should they be victorious, would earn the club a place in the All Japan knockout tournament set to take place in February and March.  

With a stipulation in place that Olivier would be available for the Black Rams if required until March 1, he could thus miss the Bulls’ clashes with the Stormers and Western Force.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said he will talk with Olivier later this week for more clarity on the matter.

"We could even have him back at the end on January, and we talk on a regular basis in order to plan accordingly," Ludeke told Beeld.

While the Bulls would miss Olivier’s experience as a Super Rugby centurion and 37-Test veteran, Ludeke feels the Pretoria franchise have sufficient depth in midfield.

“We have Francois Venter, who came through the Currie Cup with flying colours and has played Super Rugby before and then there is Jan Serfontein, who made such a significant impact for the Baby Boks,” said Ludeke.

Lionel Mapoe, who was a member of the Springbok squad last year and joins the Bulls on loan from the Lions, is the frontrunner for the No.13 jersey in Olivier’s absence.

New recruit Marcel van der Merwe is the Bulls’ only serious injury concern with the former Cheetahs prop only set to fully recover from his knee injury at the end of June.

Springbok trio Flip van der Merwe, Jacques Potgieter and Bjorn Basson will return to full training next week while Arno Botha and Dawie Steyn will be available for the warm-up games against the Lions (February 2) and Cheetahs (February 9).

“Most of these players only have soft tissue injuries and we have enough time to gradually step up their training before our warm-up matches,” said Ludeke.

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 22 September 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Pumas 15h30 Bloemfontein
Cheetahs v Leinster 18h00 Bloemfontein
Glasgow Warriors v Munster 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Ulster v Dragons 18h35 Kingspan Stadium
Gloucester v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Kingsholm
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 23 September 2017
Sharks v Blue Bulls 13h00 Durban
Bath v Newcastle Falcons 14h00 Recreation Ground
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Sale Sharks 14h00 Allianz Park
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 14h15 Sportsground
Western Province v Griquas 15h15 Newlands
Kings v Zebre 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 24 September 2017
London Irish v Northampton Saints 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 14h00 Sandy Park
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28