Frikkie ready for challenge

Blue Bulls centre Frikkie Welsh will not hold back from his usual abrasive style now he is captain.

And while it might get him into trouble, Welsh refuses to hold back just because he is wearing the captain’s armband. In fact, those who know Welsh will not be surprised if he does not put in an extra effort against the Falcons at Loftus Versfeld tomorrow night.

Welsh is regarded as one of the hard men of the game, often getting himself into difficult situations in the heat of the moment. But on Friday night, Welsh will lead the Bulls in their opening Absa Currie Cup match against the Falcons and would be forgiven for tempering his approach.

“No way am I going to change my style,” he told keo.co.za. “I want to be a captain that leads from the front and to do that I will go out and play my usual game.”

Welsh last captained a team at school (he attended Kanonkop High School in Middleburg), when he was skipper of every age-group team he represented, but since then he has not had the added burden of leadership.

“Although as a senior player I’m expected to contribute at the Bulls, I have had no experience since school. It will be a great challenge and I’m honoured to have been given the chance.”

“Filling the boots of Anton (Leonard) and Victor (Matfield) will not be easy, but Heyneke and I have chatted about the game and I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

The combative midfielder leads a team missing as many as 27 players against a Falcons team that has just won the Vodacom Cup. The result is far from a foregone conclusion says Welsh.

“The Falcons are a good team and know how to win. They also have a good coaching staff in John Williams, Krynauw Otto and Deon Oosthuizen. We will have to work hard for our win.”

By Andrew Hollely