Pretoria - Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane is looking forward to a welcome return to the Blue Bulls line-up ahead of their Currie Cup showdown with log-topping Western Province at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, SuperSport.com reports.
Nyakane has been struggling with injury all season and has made rare appearances on the field but looks set to be included in the match-day 23 for the game when the team is named on Thursday.
The Bok management will keep a key eye on the game, especially as Nyakane is seen as a crucial cog in the Bok machine as a "swinger" who can play both sides of the scrum and is handy to keep on the bench.
But Blue Bulls coach Pote Human will be looking for the experience to help inspire his young side against a rampant Province team that has swept all aside with the added knowledge that while they will start at home as heavy underdogs, a shock win coupled with one other result may even give them a home semi-final.
While it is unlikely, it is still a mathematical chance and Human will be looking to his team to do just that when they head into the game this weekend.
Human said that Nyakane is chomping at the bit to get onto the field.
"He played for me in a friendly game in Namibia before he went back to the Boks. He did two weeks of good fitness training and he is really looking forward to getting some game time," the coach said.
Human is also likely to welcome back Springboks Embrose Papier and Marco van Staden, both of whom were with the Springbok squad, into his match-day 23, and will look for key roles for both.
"They are all excellent players and hungry to get game time. They are very focused on this weekend and they bring a new vibe to the team."
But the choice at halfback seems to be a difficult one, with Papier likely to be benched by the Bulls and Bok Ivan van Zyl set to start against Province.
"It's a difficult one, both are very good players same as Andre Warner who has done well in the Currie Cup for us. But the guys coming back from the Boks I will give them both an opportunity in the squad and I still have to make a decision on who is going to start. Ivan at this stage is the more experienced guy but we'll make a call on Thursday morning."
The Bulls have had a month break now and despite the long layoff, seem keen to get onto the field against Province. And that, according to the coach, means that no motivation is necessary for the game.
"That's very true. But when you play against Western Province you don't need any motivation. It is a game that we need to win to secure our place in the semis so it will be like a final. I know they are a good side and will want to end the campaign unbeaten so it is going to be an awesome game. The way they play, they are definitely the best side at this stage in the competition. We can't wait for Saturday."
"It would be great for the Bulls franchise to make the semis and get into the final because 2009 was the last time we won the Currie Cup. We can make history and it is a big occasion but we are juston the process and the score will look after itself."
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