Bulls banking on squad system

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 10:35
Large frans ludeke presser Large bulls 75th jersey Large deon stegmann presser

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the Pretoria-based franchise did not use the squad system to its fullest in last year's competition.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke said the Pretoria-based franchise did not use the squad system to its fullest in last year's competition and they would look to make better use of their depth this season.

Ludeke will have his first opportunity to test the strength of the less experienced and fringe players for this purpose when they play the Golden Lions in their first warm-up match in the Gauteng Challenge at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
"It is important to have a group, we didn't really use our squad well last year and we would like to improve on that," Ludeke said.
"It is a long competition and it is important that there are 28 to 32 players that can put their hands up and that is the goal with this weekend."
Bulls flank Deon Stegmann will lead a youthful team which include five 2012 Junior Springbok gold medallists in the match-day 22.
The veteran, who has played in six Tests for South Africa since his debut in 2010, makes a welcome comeback to the playing field after being side-lined with injury for most of the 2012 season and will lead a team that combines youth and experience and some new faces.
Junior Springboks Travis Ismaiel, Jan Serfontein, and Paul Willemse will be in the run-on side, while Wiaan Liebenberg and Handré Pollard could make an impact off the bench.
"These are exciting times for us," Ludeke said.
"We are at the start of a new season and we cannot wait to get going.
"We have big plans and big dreams for 2013 and are keen to start. The Lions have played twice now and have that advantage, but we have worked hard in training and will give it a full go."
The majority of the team is unlikely to be part of the core that will play in this year's Super Rugby season, but Ludeke said the players would be part of their greater Super Rugby squad.
"Everyone is in with a chance to play in Super Rugby and these players could have an opportunity to play in the competition," he said.
Ludeke said it was important to get the season off to a good start as they did last year but they would have to rely more on the squad system when mental fatigue kicked in midway through the season.
"We'll see when a player is overplayed, when there is mental fatigue, and some niggling injuries then you won't have any options but to rest a player," Ludeke said.
The match will also see Lionel Mapoe, on loan from the Lions, start at outside centre against his teammates from the other side of the Jukskei River.
The Bulls were, however, still sweating over the availability of flyhalf Louis Fouche, who was nursing an injury.
This could open the door for teenage flyhalf Pollard to make his debut for the team with Tiaan Schoeman moving into the 22.
Ludeke said the team needed to be competitive constantly throughout the season if they wanted to claim the Super Rugby title for the fourth time.


There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 27 November 2015
Leinster v Ulster 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 true
Edinburgh v Dragons 19h35 BT Murrayfield
Northampton Saints v Gloucester 19h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 28 November 2015
Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 15h00 Sandy Park
Ospreys v Cardiff Blues 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Saracens v Worcester Warriors 15h15 Twickenham
Munster v Connacht 17h15 Thomond Park
London Irish v Wasps 17h30 Twickenham
Sun, 29 November 2015
Scarlets v Zebre 14h30 Parc y Scarlets
Leicester Tigers v Bath 15h00 Welford Road
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26