- The Bulls will have to make due without Stedman Gans for a large chunk of the Rainbow Cup.
- Team management confirmed on Tuesday that the dynamic midfielder's ankle injury sustained against the Stormers last weekend will require surgery, keeping him out for 10 weeks.
- The Bulls, however, are well stocked to fill his void.
The Bulls' build-up towards the Rainbow Cup suffered a significant blow with the news that Stedman Gans will be sidelined for close to three months.
The 23-year-old midfielder, who still last year captained the Blitzboks, has been one of the outstanding performers for the men from Loftus since Jake White's tenure commenced.
But a bout of Covid-19 stifled his momentum in terms of form, which has now been compounded by an ankle injury he suffered in last weekend's 34-29 victory over the Stormers.
Gans went for a scan on Tuesday, showing he sustained a torn syndesmosis, which is joint held together by several ligaments.
Team management confirmed that the dynamic play-maker will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
Midfield was thought to be one of White's thinner areas in terms of depth during his purposeful readjustment of his squad during lockdown last year, but the Bulls mentor has proven an astute selector in that regard.
While Gans and the irrepressible Cornal Hendricks quickly established themselves as the Bulls' first-choice centre pairing, former Junior Springbok stalwart Marnus Potgieter has been given a decent number of opportunities and could easily slot in to replace Gans.
However, White's real trump card will in all likelihood be the versatile Marco Jansen van Vuren, who's been transformed from scrumhalf to a skillful utility back.
The 24-year-old is no stranger to the No 13 jersey, having played in the position during the Currie Cup semi-final and final last season.
"He's a really good rugby player. He's got everything, size and pace and a great boot," White said of Jansen van Vuren's worth last week.
"He's too good a player not to keep in our squad."
The Bulls travel to Durban to play their final game of the preparation series against the Sharks on Friday evening.