‘Morné Steyn is not here on holiday‚’ says Bulls coach Pote Human

Morne Steyn of the Bulls during the 2020 SuperHero Sunday match between Lions and Bulls at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, on 19 January 2020.
Morne Steyn of the Bulls during the 2020 SuperHero Sunday match between Lions and Bulls at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, on 19 January 2020.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Bulls coach Pote Human says former Springboks flyhalf Morné Steyn has not returned to Loftus for a holiday but he has rejoined the team to share his vast experience to their Super Rugby campaign.

The 35-year-old Steyn‚ who will play his first Super Rugby match since 2013‚ was chosen by Human at flyhalf ahead of promising Manie Libbok for the season opening clash against the Sharks in Durban on Friday. “Morne is happy to be back here at Loftus where he made a name for himself‚” said Human as he announced a strong squad for the trip to Kings Park.

“He has lots of experience having played for the Boks and the Bulls and also in France. Now he is back here at Loftus‚ he is fully fit and really wants to play. He is not here on holiday‚ he is here to play rugby and that’s why he is in the side.”

Steyn‚ who has won Super Rugby three times with the Bulls in the past‚ will form the halfback combination with Ivan van Zyl while Embrose Papier‚ who enjoyed a successful loan to the Sale Sharks in Manchester‚ will provide backup.

In other team news‚ Steyn will be joined by No 8 Josh Strauss‚ flanker Jeandré Rudolph‚ lock Andries Ferreira and replacement loose forward Wian Vosloo while replacement lock Ryno Pieterse who will make his Super Rugby debut off the bench. Cornal Hendricks will do his thing on the wing while lock Juandré Kruger will add some grunt to the engine room and Human has opted for a 6/2 split on the bench that includes Trevor Nyakane.

“He (Trevor) is fit at this stage‚ together with Lizo (Gqoboka) had a few weeks with us at training but I just thought its better for him to come from the bench. Lizo is in better form and that’s why he is starting this week.”

Captain Burger Odendaal said he is expecting a physical battle from the Sharks in their own backyard.

“We know that the Sharks always bring the physical battle‚ that’s why we went with the 6/2 split on the bench. Our forwards have to pitch for this game and we have to give a complete 80 minutes performance. They thrive on turnovers and that’s why we have to cut down on our mistakes. You don’t need to motivate the guys for a match like this‚ if they are not up for the fight‚ it will show on the field.”

History favours the visitors with the Bulls having managed eight wins and a draw in their last nine matches against the Sharks.

“We have a job to do in Durban and we are not taking it lightly. The Sharks have proved time and time again that they are a dangerous team if underestimated. We are going into the match with level heads and a battle plan in hand.”