PRETORIA – A clash of the second-rowers is expected at Newlands over the weekend as both the Bulls and the Stormers welcome influential lock forwards for the crucial clash.
The Bulls have been plagued by injuries to their locks but will be able to field the tried combination of RG Snyman and Jason Jenkins against the Stormers.
The Stormers, in turn, will welcome the return of star locks Eben Etzebeth and JD Schickerling.
Snyman made his comeback in the Bulls’ 32-17 win over the Reds before this weekend’s bye.
The Springbok lock was one of the star performers in an otherwise dull affair, showing no sign of rust after recovering from an ankle injury.
Jenkins recovered from a pectoral muscle injury and will face a late fitness test to decide whether he will pack down next to Snyman on Saturday.
“I think I was out of place a couple of times (against the Reds), and the ball just came to me, but it was great to back on the field,” Snyman said. “I enjoyed it and being injured for so long it puts you out of the game for a bit, and it gets a bit frustrating.
“It is frustrating for anyone to be injured and to be out of play.”
Snyman relished the opportunity to go up against Etzebeth and Schickerling in a match both teams will be desperate to win.
The Bulls went on a rampage in their opening match of the season against the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld, romping to a 40-3 win over their archrivals.
“It will be a different dog we will face this weekend, I look forward to it, and I think it is going to be a good battle among the forwards,” Snyman said. “It is nice playing against guys you have become friends with and being out on the field against them will be fun.
“It will be a different challenge especially going down to Newlands and playing there.”
Snyman said the close battle among the country’s top locks for places in the Springbok team for the Rugby World Cup would ultimately be to the benefit of the country’s cause.
“It is a good thing having a couple of good guys in one position where it would bring out the best from the individual players,” Snyman said.@ockertde