Chiliboy Ralepelle says his primary focus is on regaining the hooking berth for the Bulls after playing second fiddle to Derick Kuün.
Ralepelle returned from a lengthy injury lay-off at the end of 2008 and featured in the Absa Currie Cup and on the Springboks’ year tour to the United Kingdom. However, for the the talk of rotation at the Bulls, it was clear that Kuün had established himself as the premier hooker.
Chiliboy looks set to feature prominently in Springbok sides in future, yet a stating berth is not certain at Super 14 level. He is now tasked with unseating the former SA Schools flanker, and Ralepelle is determined to achieve that goal.
“I’m very real with myself and ambitions so the first thing is that I want to be the number one hooker at the Bulls. With that it will put me on a better platform to challenge at the the Boks,” Ralepelle told the Pretoria News.
Kuün’s superior mobility and handling skills are better suited to ELVs, and his experience as a loose forward means he acts as an extra ground level scavenger for the Bulls in loose play.
He, however, lacks experience in the position and has a propensity to fold if pressured at the set phases. This is where Ralepelle is strong, with his lineout feeds and scrummaging ability consistently lauded by respected commentators on the game.
If Ralepelle improves his all round athleticism he could move up in the pecking order. For now Kuün looks set to start against the Reds in the opening round of the Super 14.