Papier not experienced enough for Bulls coach
CURRIE CUP SPOTLIGHT: Blue Bulls head coach Pote Human said his decision to select Ivan van Zyl ahead of Embrose Papier in his team to face Western Province was based on experience.
Papier was the back-up scrumhalf to Faf de Klerk in five of the Springboks’ six Rugby Championship matches this season and he was expected to be the starting scrumhalf for the Bulls heading into Saturday’s big North-South derby against Province at Loftus Versfeld.
However, Human believes Van Zyl is the perfect fit for the No.9 jersey in a young Bulls team.
The Vodacom Blue Bulls vs DHL Western Province Press Conference
Posted by Blue Bulls on Thursday, 11 October 2018
“Ivan’s experience, with this young team, is what I think we needed and then Embrose will make a huge impact coming off the bench,” Human told reporters ahead of Saturday’s match.
He added: “Luckily for me, Rassie [Erasmus] hasn’t called me, so I made my own call for this one and it’s just experience-wise that I decided to go with Ivan.”
Human said the returning Springboks in his matchday squad are itching for some game time.
“They are very positive, they want to play, they want some game time because none of them really played in the last few weeks.
“Embrose had six or seven minutes last week [against the All Blacks], so everyone is excited to play and they lift the whole spirit of the team,” said Human.
It has been a month since the Bulls played their last Currie Cup match and there might be a bit of rustiness in their camp. However, Human believes their rivalry with Western Province will be a big motivator heading into the game.
“I said to them ‘if you are not motivated to play against Province at Loftus then you don’t belong here’ and I think they are really motivated for this one.
“It’s a big one for us maybe, depending what happens tomorrow [Friday between the Pumas and Golden Lions], it will be a must win for us to go through to the semis so everybody knows the importance of this game,” he added.
By Warren Fortune