The Citizen (Gauteng)

Duane will be carefully managed

- Rudolph Jacobs

With star Springbok eighthman Duane Vermeulen (right) set to play a key part in the series against the British and Irish Lions, it’s vital he is managed properly at provincial level, said Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White.

White explained it would be crucial to build Vermeulen up gradually to peak at the right time and that is the reason why the Bulls boss replaced his captain with 25 minutes left on the clock in last weekend’s 20-16 Rainbow Cup SA win against the Stormers in Cape Town.

“I was very happy with Duane. He played 55 minutes and he felt good afterwards,” said White.

“I said during the course of last week that it’s important Duane is ready for the British and Irish Lions.”

White said a part of his job at provincial level was to assist the national team and make sure the players are ready and in good physical condition for the Lions series.

“I am satisfied... Duane hadn’t played for a long time but for him to stay on the field for that period of time was very positive,” said White.

Turning his attention to this weekend’s match against the Sharks, White said it would be important to keep the winning momentum going.

“We need to stay in the hunt, especially after the Sharks’ good start to the competitio­n. They’ve got a a full-house of 10 points from two games,” he said.

“With each team playing just six games you have to keep winning.”

White meanwhile has been fairly vocal about the new trial laws, among them the captain’s call.

He said the new “law” was frustratin­g for him, the players and the fans watching at home.

“If you freeze-frame anything you can actually penalise a whole lot of areas,” he said.

“If you pause all of that (scrums, lineouts and breakdowns) you open yourself up to scrutiny.”

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