Bulls injury blues eased

Five injured Vodacom Bulls players are set to be fit for the Absa Currie Cup final against the Vodacom Cheetahs.

Lock, Adriaan Fondse’s knee injury has made unexpectedly good progress and he now looks likely to be available for selection along with Wynand Olivier, who was substituted in the final after a head collision with Werner Greeff, and Francois van Schouwenburg who is nursing a bruised rib.

Both players trained with the team yesterday, as did Pedrie Wannenburg and Frikkie Welsh, who both passed fitness tests.

The outstanding form of Olivier in particular will have Pote Human hoping the shaggy-haired blond will fully recover before the showpiece match. He carved the Sharks defence to pieces on his return from Springbok duty and has built on that performance as the competition has progressed.

“It certainly feels a whole lot better than at the weekend,” Olivier told the Pretoria News. “The swelling has receded and the knee feels good. I am hoping to be passed fit to play.”

Olivier and Fondse will undergo fitness tests tomorrow.

Wannenburg and Welsh were close to playing last weekend’s semi-final against Vodacom Western Province, but were omitted as a precautionary measure.

Human was guarded about the composition of the squad, which he is expected to announce on Thursday, but hinted that he would stick with the players who have brought him success thus far.

“Everyone wants to play. It makes it difficult, but we are not likely to make many changes.”

Welsh is most likely to start on the bench, while the form of Derick Kuün and Hilton Lobberts makes Wannenburg’s inclusion in the run-on team less clear cut than it seems.

The likelyhood is that the Bulls will go with the big, physical back row of Pierrre Spies (eighthman), Wannenburg (blindside flank) and Danie Rossouw (openside flank). Derick Kuün will be unfortunate to get dropped to the bench while Hilton Lobberts will drop out of the match-day 22 completely.