YOUNG BLOOD: Manie Libbok

A big threat is coming out of the north of South Africa in Super Rugby terms this year.

I believe the recruitments made by the Bulls ahead of this year’s Super Rugby season have made them a force to be reckoned with once again, without even a ball being kicked in the tournament.

What they have done is recruit wisely and brought inexperienced players in positions where they needed to.

The signings of No.8 Duane Vermeulen and veteran hooker Schalk Brits complete a strong Bulls spine.

With Lood de Jager leading the team from lock this season and Brits in the middle of the front three, and Vermeulen at the back, they have enough leaders among the forwards.

Add to this the experience of a player such as Trevor Nyakane and a promising young gun in Roelof Smit and it’s clear that the Bulls have a strong starting pack.

The spine running through the halfbacks sees Springboks Embrose Papier and Ivan van Zyl compete for the No.9 jersey, with leaders and former captains Handre Pollard and possibly Burger Odendaal at 12.

At 15, Warrick Gelant is apparently fit and ready to go again.

The Bulls have got some talented youngsters coming through their system as well.

But if they can manage these stars and keep them injury-free, the rest of the South African teams will have to watch out for the threat from the north again.

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