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Jake putting young lock on same path as PSDT

SPOTLIGHT: Jake White, the Bulls’ Director of Rugby, did it with Pieter-Steph du Toit and is now waving his magic wand again –  this time with young Bulls lock Reinhardt Ludwig.

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Ludwig, a regular in the lock position, ran out at No.7 against the Stormers in the big derby at Loftus Versfeld a fortnight ago.

He came through that game with aplomb.

The 21-year-old sat down with reporters this week and talked about his favourite position, the possible move to flank and the trust the coaching staff at the Bulls has in him.

“I didn’t foresee my season to go this well so far,” he said.

“All you need as a player is some opportunity and I am truly grateful for the opportunities I got so far this season.

“I can just be thankful for the coaches’ belief in me and I am keen to work hard and get even better.

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“I am not yet where I want to be with my game, but every game I feel more confident and I feel that I have grown a lot this season.

“If I can describe the season in one word, it has been unreal.”

He explained how much work coaches like White and Andries Bekker have put into him, signifying their belief that he might just go on to become another Du Toit, a player Ludwig has admired for some time.

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“It’s a massive honour to be compared with him and that he [Jake White] sees potential in me.

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“He has played in the World Cup, was man of the match in the World Cup final, and he is a hero of mine. I look up to him as a player and as a human being. I think he is extremely humble despite everything that he has achieved in his life.

“It’s an honour for me that coach Jake sees the potential in me.

“But I still have to work hard to become like Pieter-Steph [du Toit]. I am not there yet.

“I think coach Jake has a plan with my career and I am just keen to learn from everyone.

“If I am shaped, it is a position that will suit me. But at this stage I am more comfortable at lock just because I have spent so many years in that position,” Ludwig explained, showing maturity and confidence.

There is no doubt that an experienced coach like White sees the potential in Ludwig.

“People don’t want to make the comparison because the players are phenomenal, but I coached Pieter-Steph du Toit and moved him to No. 7 when I was at the Sharks and he was a youngster,” White said ahead of the Stormers URC game.

“I remember when he moved to No. 7, people asked me the same question.

“He became the best player in the world and he’s won two World Cups and was man of the match in both finals.

“So I’ve seen this movie before. I’ve got full faith in him.

“There’s a lot he will add to us.

“He’s very clever, works incredibly hard, he’s not slow.

“As a lock playing loose forward, he is relatively quick.

“Ludwig isn’t shy to do the hard yards up front, but is also a willing ball carrier and strong defender,” White explained.

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