Twelve of the fifteen Bulls run-on starters versus the Sunwolves in last weekend’s Super Rugby match came through the union’s junior structures. Hard working recruiter Xander Janse van Rensburg has again provided the Pretoria based union with an ideal platform to challenge for an under-19 Currie Cup title this season, as well as working towards the far more important objective of junior rugby, which is to provide the senior team with quality professionals down the line and thereby justify the development costs forked out.
As a schoolboy Affies tighthead prop James Combrinck generated a lot of excitement about his future potential. He could quite easily be a star in the making. Scattered throughout the team are a number of his Affies Witbulle teammates who have opportunity to grow their reputations as difference makers on the pitch.
No doubt the John Mitchell blueprint would have filtered down to the under-19 coaches and with that is bound to come more intelligent dynamic backline play to compliment the dominating power game that this under-19 Bulls squad can deliever up front. There are some twinkle-toes in the form of high profile players like Andrew Kota and Sebastian Jobb out wide to take full advantage, but also some assertive players like big Oakdale Bull Jay-cee Nel in midfield. The Bulls will however have to make do without halfback pairing of Helpmekaar’s underrated Ruhan Viviers and Nelspuit’s SA Schools pivot Stephan van der Bank.
Historically opponents at under-19 level don’t come any tougher than Western Province, who just about always put together a formidable team heaped with talent. If the Bulls can get off to a winning start away from home in this the big game of round one of the under-19 championship, it could set them up for the remainer of the season.
|2||Johan van Zyl||Affies|
|8||Orateng Koikanyang||St Alban’s|
|9||Lian du Toit||Oakdale|
|15||Andrew Kota||Welkom Gim|
|16||Llewellyn Classen||Pretoria BH|
|22||Ruben Beytell||EG Jansen|