Vodacom Bulls coach Nollis Marais will give Jesse Kriel the opportunity to establish himself at fullback, while he sees Trevor Nyakane’s future at tighthead prop.
“The plan is to use both Jesse and Warrick Gelant at fullback.
“We have the option to move to Jesse to centre if there are injuries, but I believe there is enough depth in the midfield with the likes Burger Odendaal, Jan Serfontein, Dries Swanepoel, JT Jackson and Johnny Kotze in the mix.
“I’d like to see Jesse establish himself as the last line of defense.
“Trevor has bought the idea of making the no. 3 jersey his own. The plan is to rotate Pierre Schoeman and Lizo Gqoboka at loosehead like we did in the Currie Cup.”
Schoeman, also speaking to Netwerk24, said he was fired up for the challenge: “The fact that I played Super Rugby last year makes me calm, because now I have a better idea of what to expect,” Schoeman said.
“The competition is tough and I know I will have to try and improve constantly. We know how important it is going to be to lay a strong foundation with our scrummaging. That’s where everything starts.”
The Bulls contracted Springboks will not play in their warm-up game against the Lions on 28 January in Harare, but the plan is to take on the Chiefs with a full-strength team in Brisbane on February 8.
A highly anticipated game given that it is likely to see Handre Pollard make his long awaited return from injury.
“In our two warm up games, we are up against teams that play at pace, which will be very valuable for our guys. Especially against the Chiefs given that we play the New Zealand teams this year,” said Marais.
2017 Super Rugby squads