Jake White has ‘no doubt’ that Nizaam Carr can drive the Bulls
CAPE TOWN - The pending departure of Marco van Staden from Loftus Versfeld is set to result in a battle for his Bulls No 6 jersey – and Nizaam Carr has been given the first bite at it.
Bulls boss Jake White, in announcing a much changed side yesterday for tomorrow's encounter against Eastern Province, conceded that his fight to keep Springbok flank Van Staden in Pretoria is over. The 25-year-old was in outstanding form last season, adding a powerful ball-carrying element to his renowned fetcher skills, as the Bulls charged to the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup titles.
Had the Boks been able to play any Tests, Van Staden was sure to be part of the squad.
But perhaps the looming arrival of another international loose forward in Marcell Coetzee may have swayed Van Staden’s thinking. A number of French clubs were chasing his signature, but it has been rumoured that he has signed for Leicester Tigers in England.
It is unclear when he will join the East Midlands side at Welford Road, but with the Rainbow Cup on the horizon, White will use the Preparation Series over the next few weeks to identify a suitable figure at No 6, with Coetzee only expected in Pretoria in July.
And despite Carr stating earlier this week that he sees himself as a No 8, White was adamant that the five-cap Springbok, who will also lead the team at Loftus Versfeld, has the ability to operate at openside flank.
“With us not having Marco van Staden going forward, we are going to try to find a back-up as an openside flanker as well, to take that role. I’ve got no doubt that a guy like Nizaam can do it,” the former Bok coach said.
“I see a guy like Nizaam, who could probably play at six, seven and eight. He has unbelievable skills in the line-out … I would like to see Nizaam play as an openside, because if he can do that position as well as I think he can, he offers so much more for me on the bench as well. I’m not saying he won’t start, but then at least he will be in every 23 because then I’m comfortable that we have a guy who can cover all those positions.”
White added that he feels Tim Agaba, who also previously operated from the back of the scrum, is better suited to blindside flank “that can jump at the back of a line-out”.
Meanwhile, star wing Kurt-Lee Arendse has rejoined the Blitzboks to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, which sees new signing Madosh Tambwe starting at No 14.
15 David Kriel 14 Madosh Tambwe 13 Marnus Potgieter 12 Marco Jansen van Vuren 11 Stravino Jacobs 10 Chris Smith 9 Embrose Papier 8 WJ Steenkamp 7 Tim Agaba 6 Nizaam Carr (captain) 5 Janko Swanepoel 4 Jan Uys 3 Mornay Smith 2 Joe van Zyl 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Bench: 16 Janco Uys 17 Jan-Hendrik Wessels 18 Gerhard van der Merwe 19 Raynard Roets 20 Uzile Tele 21 Keagan Johannes 22 Jandre Burger 23 Diego Appollis 24 Reinhardt Ludwig 25 Werner Gouws 26 Dawid Kellerman.