The Rugby 2021 Varsity Cup tournament will have many surprises, as TuksRugby players are going to be watched by the director of one of the biggest rugby teams in South Africa: the Blue Bulls.
It would stand TuksRugby players well to “not to drop the ball” during next year’s Varsity Cup tournament, as the Blue Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White, will be watching them. To White, a healthy student and club rugby setup are crucial to ensure the Bulls’ success in the Currie Cup as well the SuperRugby Tournaments. The director has already met with Nico Luus, the TuksRugby’s head coach, to discuss his plans for next year.
White, the former coach of the Springboks, led the team to win the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and the Tri Nations in 2004. He discussed with Nico that he “needs to acquaint himself [with] what is happening at a club rugby level in and around Pretoria”. It will make it easier when some of the Bulls players contract expires, or the older players retire. White said that he “has not signed a full quota of the Bulls contracts yet”.
“The last thing I want is for some Bulls players to hold a diving bag for the whole season. It serves no purpose”, said White. They would need to play as if it is the only way they can improve their skills. The visit to UP matches will be introducing new opportunities to the TuksRugby players. White reiterated that he “wants the players not to be selected to play for the Bulls on any weekend, but to play club rugby”. He plans to allocate everyone into a specific club. Meaning that there might be four to five Bulls watching, which makes it an excellent way to spot new talent.
White says that “next year there is no South African under-21 tournament; it has been changed to an under-20 tournament”. One of the things White and Nico discussed is how the Bulls and UP can work together to ensure no player sits on the side-lines, as all should have an opportunity to play. “Some of the younger Bulls players who are eligible should represent Tuks during the Varsity Cup tournament come 2021”. White believes that it is better for players between the ages of 21 and 22 to hone their skills at a Varsity level as it prepares them for the severity of Currie Cup and SuperRugby.
The TuksRugby team in the upcoming 2021 Varsity Cup tournament should give its best as always, as a few good performances might lead to a call up to play for the Bulls. White wants every young player in Pretoria and surrounding areas to aspire to wear the coveted Bulls jersey, opening brighter opportunities for TuksRugby players as next year he will be watching them during the Varsity Cup tournament.
Illustration: Sanele Zulu