PRETORIA - There is no doubt that Warrick Gelant is a Springbok fullback in waiting. But the fleet-footed Gelant is not looking too far ahead and says that his primary job is to play his part in making sure that the Blue Bulls do well in their Currie Cup campaign.
“It was a huge, huge blessing for me when I got called up to the squad. There are guys who have played an entire career and never got called up to the Boks, so for me to be part of the squad was amazing," he said.
"My primary job is to play for the Bulls and do well for them. To get higher honours and represent the country would be great but it was just wonderful for me to be part of the squad and see how they do things there. I’m just happy to be seen and continue to perform for the Bulls."
And Gelant has already played a significant role for the Bulls this season. The 22-year-old has shown he stands heads and shoulders above most players in the domestic game and it comes as no surprise that he feels that he is playing the best rugby of his fledgling career.
The fact that Gelant has suffered a few injuries this year, compared to the two major injuries (fractured eye socket and knee ligaments) that saw him miss out most of last year, has helped grow Gelant’s confidence which has spilt over to him showcasing the rare and scintillating talent within.
“Obviously, I came back after being injured for a year and for me it was a big battle from that double blow last year. It is my third year of senior rugby and up until now it feels like my best rugby so far.”
No matter how you feel. Get up, dress up, show up and never give up🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/iI99f19d7Q
The arrival of John Mitchell at Loftus Versfeld in July has also contributed to Gelant realising his talents and the former Hoerskool Outeniqua star pupil believes that Mitchell has opened up his mind to things in the game that he didn’t know before.
“He is a guy that has been part of a few successful teams and he is a student of the game. The way he does things is phenomenal and it opens one’s mind to things that we never saw in the game,” Gelant said about Mitchell.
And Mitchell will look to a fit again Gelant to influence the result when they take on the Golden Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday as the Bulls look to continue on their winning start to the second round of the competition.
Along with Gelant, centre Burger Odendaal is expected to lead the team after recovering from injury with prop Pierre Schoeman also set to return to the starting line-up in place of the injured Lizo Gqoboka.
Even though the Bulls are lying second from the bottom on the log, Gelant says it is important theycontinue to grow in the new system and structures that have been brought in by Mitchell since he took over from Nollis Marais after a handful of ill-fated games this season.
“We are not too fazed about where we are at the moment. For us it is about starting a new process and growing in it. We have a plan that we started installing this week and we want to go forward with it," he added.
"Obviously, the Lions are a great team with great individual players especially in their backline. For us to play the plan we have for the weekend will be the greatest test for our team."