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.

SAPA

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19