Springbok lock Victor Matfield is not expected feature for the Bulls in their upcoming Super Rugby tour to Australasia.
The Bulls leave for New Zealand on Tuesday and according to the Beeld website, Matfield will revert to his coaching role as forward and attack coach for the duration of the overseas trip.
The men from Pretoria will play matches against the Hurricanes, Highlanders, Waratahs and Western Force.
The decision is part of the original plan for Matfield to be managed during the season.
Flip van der Merwe will return to take over the captaincy while Matfield will only be used if there is an injury, in order to keep him fresh for when they return home.
Paul Willemse is expected to be Van der Merwe’s lock partner against the Hurricanes in Napier on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 SA time).
Grant Hattingh is the other lock in the squad, while Jacques du Plessis can also be utilised there if need be.