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, 20 April 2018
Blues v Highlanders 07h35 Eden Park
Waratahs v Lions 09h45 Sydney
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 21 April 2018
Crusaders v Sunwolves 07h35 Christchurch
Reds v Chiefs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Rebels 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Leinster v Scarlets 14h30 Dublin
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Durban
Zebre v Ospreys 16h45 Parma
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 17h05 Kingspan Stadium
Sun, 22 April 2018
Brumbies v Jaguares 06h05 Canberra
Racing Metro v Munster 14h15 Paris
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 7 5 1 1 24
Rebels 6 4 0 2 20
Brumbies 7 3 0 4 14
Reds 7 3 0 4 13
Sunwolves 7 0 0 7 2
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 7 6 0 1 27
Crusaders 7 5 0 2 24
Chiefs 7 5 0 2 21
Highlanders 6 4 0 2 19
Blues 7 2 0 5 12
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 5 0 3 25
Bulls 7 3 0 4 14
Sharks 8 2 1 5 14
Stormers 8 3 0 5 13
Jaguares 6 2 0 4 8