Currie Cup

Stedman Gans and Bulls on the same page over his Olympic dream

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Stedman Gans
Stedman Gans
  • Bulls star Stedman Gans definitely wants to go to the Olympics with the Blitzboks later this year, should the showpiece take place.
  • Despite being contracted to the franchise, Jake White, the Bulls' director of rugby, is apparently more than willing to let him travel to Tokyo.
  • For now though, Gans is focused on helping the Bulls achieve a domestic double by claiming the Currie Cup title.

While the raging Covid-19 pandemic continues to put the showpiece in Tokyo in doubt, Stedman Gans is keen to fulfill his Olympic dream with the Blitzboks this year.

Given the dramatic impact he's made in the 15-man game since domestic rugby's resumption, it's almost easy to forget that the 23-year-old Bulls midfielder was less than a year ago the national sevens team's skipper.

It's now abundantly clear that Jake White, the Bulls' director of rugby, considers Gans as a crucial cog in his revolution at Loftus, but he's apparently more than willing to let his playmaker go and attempt to earn a gold medal.

"Playing at the Olympics is definitely one of my biggest goals for the coming year," Gans said on Thursday as the Bulls ramp up their preparations for next week's Currie Cup semifinal against the Lions.

"When I spoke to coach Jake near the end of last year, he told me that he wants to grant me that opportunity if the Blitzboks want to select me. 

"I'm contracted to the Bulls, so when the time nears, we'll trash out more of the details. It's my intent and Jake's intent to let me go to the Olympics if I'm in the mix."

However, his almost seamless transition into the main form of the game has the potential to confront him with another pesky headache: being on the Springbok radar.

Even his partner-in-crime at the heart of the Bulls' attack, Cornal Hendricks, has touted him for selection in the Green-and-Gold.

"Wow, to ask me if I'd have to pick between the Springboks and Blitzboks is a pretty difficult one," said Gans.

"That's a decision I'll only make when I'm actually confronted by it. I can't say now that I would decide. That's obviously a decision that would require widespread communication.

"I'd have to get clarity from coaches on where they see my long-term future and we'll make a decision together."

For now though, Gans is focused on playing his part in the Bulls' quest for the domestic double in next weekend's playoff at Loftus.

"All I'm basically expecting from the Lions is that they'll play one of their best games this season," he said.

"Teams invariably get better the longer the season goes on, so they'll be bringing their A-game. We'll have to do the same."

That train of thought extends to the mouthwatering prospect of him having to face another gifted exponent in Wandisile Simelane as a direct opponent.

"I tend not to focus on one individual. I'm ready for the Lions and what the game will hold overall."

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