Trust in the Bulls

Heyneke Meyer must trust the form and combination of the Bulls players in the season’s Test opener against Italy.

Meyer would have had three training sessions with his squad and common sense dictates he goes with combinations that are working in Super Rugby for the first weekend.

As the month unfolds he will be better positioned to tinker with new combinations.

Jean de Villiers is struggling with a hamstring and should not be risked on Saturday.

The injury to De Villiers provides a good opportunity for Meyer to entrust the rookie centre combination of Jan Serfontein and JJ Engelbrecht. Should Engelbrech not recover from his injury niggle then Meyer can start with Robert Ebersohn and Serfontein.

The Bulls No 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13 has worked well all season and form dictates their selection.

There would be no provincial bias from Meyer, the former Bulls coach. He would simply be applying logic to the selection.

Pat Lambie, as one example, can then be introduced in the last quarter at flyhalf. He can also start at fullback, but it would be exciting to see Willie le Roux given that responsibility from the outset.

The pack combinations will be more consistent with a year ago, but it is among the backs that Meyer can introduce X-factor to what was a limp backline this time last season.

Adriaan Strauss, as the in-form hooker, should get the additional captaincy responsibility.