Bulls won't change stance on Simelane
REACTION: The Bulls will still be going forward with their plans to shift Wandisile Simelane around in the backline, despite the 24-year-old showing some encouraging signs in the outside centre position.
After a few outings in the back three, Simelane started in the No.13 jersey in the 29-14 win over the Dragons last weekend in the URC and he was given another opportunity there in Saturday’s big Champions Cup clash against Exeter Chiefs in Pretoria.
The former Lions centre was a constant attacking threat against Exeter and he also scored two tries in the 39-28 win over the English side.
However, that performance doesn’t mean outside centre will be his primary position as the Bulls still have a plan to turn him into the ultimate utility back.
“We gave Wandi his first match at centre last week against the Dragons. There wasn’t a lot of ball going wide and de didn’t do anything wrong but he didn’t have a lot of contributions,” said Bulls assistant coach Chris Rossouw, who was in charge of the team for the clash against Exeter.
“We just thought he deserved another opportunity tonight [Saturday] and he used that opportunity.
“However, versatility is very important for us.
“If you look at any top team you have to have a player that can at least play in three positions.
“He [Simelane] is finding his feet, but at the end of the day, Jake [White] has had a discussion with him about his future and his career pathway at centre, fullback or wing and where he needs to improve.
“He still has ambitions of playing for the Boks and to do that he needs to show his versatility.”
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#REACTION: A former England flyhalf believes the decision to give Henry Slade a red card against the Bulls in Pretoria was ‘ludicrous’ 👇#ChampionsCup #Bulls #ExeterChiefs #BULvEXE https://t.co/Z4ZOqGdSIJ
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Rossouw believes centre is the position Simelane has more confidence in.
“I don’t think he needs time at centre. I think he is comfortable there,” Rossouw explained.
“I think every time he gets the opportunity there, he will use it.
“But if you look at the wider group it is important that we have 20 backline players that can be comfortable in any position.”