JOHANNESBURG – With two Springbok scrumhalves ahead of him in the pecking order, Marco Jansen van Vuren knows full well he has his work cut out if he wants to crack a starting berth at the Bulls.
The former SA Schools and SA Under-20 scrumhalf was identified as a talent for the future before he fell out of favour at the Lions.
Jansen van Vuren will be competing against Springbok scrumhalves Embrose Papier and Ivan van Zyl for a taste of Super Rugby.
“I played with both of them at SA Under-20 and we are a young group of nines,” Jansen van Vuren said. “I think it is great to have that type of competition which would get the best out of everyone. Everyone is on the same level and it is just about getting game time.”
He ran out for the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup before he went to the Springbok Sevens Academy in search of game time.
“My agent and I decided it was quite important to move to get some game time so I got an opportunity to go and train with the Sevens to keep moving.
“This opportunity (at the Bulls) came along so I am humbled to be here.”
The 22-year-old Jansen van Vuren, who is one of the taller scrumhalves in the country, plays a similar game to Joost van der Westhuizen.
He made a good impression in the Bulls’ pre-season match against the Lions over the weekend when his kicking game featured strongly in the Pretoria side’s 21-17 victory.
Jansen van Vuren believed his style did not quite fit in with the Lions' game and hoped his skill set would be better suited at the Bulls.
“I think (Lions coach) Swys de Bruin likes the shorter, more nippy kind of scrumhalf and I think here at the Bulls it is more suited to my game, where the nines take more control on the exits,” Jansen van Vuren said. “How he (Van der Westhuizen) played the game was just amazing and I look up to him and Fourie (du Preez).”
While Jansen van Vuren had a few good touches in the warm-up match, he was not completely satisfied with his kicking, which he believed would improve with more game time.
The battle for a place in the starting XV might be a tall order at the moment but Jansen Van Vuren could earn promotion should Van Zyl and Papier get called up to the Springboks again.@jacq_west